Doctors from all specialties warn of threat to patient care from Health Bill

Doctors from all specialties have warned that patient care could suffer unless 'significant changes' are made to the Health Bill.

Ahead of the Health Bill’s second reading in the Lords starting today, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges warned peers of its concerns about the reforms in the Health Bill. The academy is made up of representatives from all medical royal colleges and faculties.

‘The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges continues to have serious concerns regarding the threat to integrated patient care from unnecessary competition,’ it said in a statement sent to peers.

The Bill should contain a duty on commissioners to ensure that integrated care takes precedence over the duty to promote choice, the statement said. It warned that the reforms could increase health inequalities.

The Academy also said clinicians should be supported to undertake work outside their organisations, for the benefit of the wider NHS, such as developing guidelines and advice.

Commenting on the statement, Professor Sir Neil Douglas, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said there were continuing concerns across the medical profession that the bill could damage patient care.

‘All the medical royal colleges and faculties representing the whole medical profession have come together to support this clear statement of our anxieties,’ he said. ‘We are calling on the House of Lords to address these concerns when they consider the Bill and for the government to respond to them.’

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