GPC chairman criticises quality premium, NHS privatisation and CQC

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman criticised the quality premium, privatisation of the NHS and Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration in his speech to the BMA conference in Cardiff.

Dr Buckman described the CQC registration as the ‘next looming crisis for GPs’.

He said that despite recent listening exercise and amendments, the government’s plan to include competition still ‘spoils a good idea.’

‘I want politicians of every stripe to understand that we do not need to increase marketisation of the NHS. It creates duplication that is wasteful and gives NHS money to private shareholders.'

Dr Buckman spoke out strongly against a ‘quality premium’ for clinical commissioning groups.

‘Initial results from the BMA survey of opinion published last week show that three quarter of GPs think this idea stinks,’ Dr Buckman said.

Dr Buckman went on to describe CQC registration as the ‘next looming crisis for GPs’.

‘At present the whole thing is an expensive creative-writing exercise that will take GPs away from patient care as well as forcing GPs to pay for it.’

Discussing practice boundaries, Dr Buckman said that a BMA survey had shown that 85% of employees did not think practice boundaries should be abolished.

‘It’s a proposal which would increase bureaucracy and costs for the NHS at a time when in can least afford it,’ Dr Buckman said.

The chairman went on to defend the GPC against its critics. ‘Some may sneer that the GPC represents vested interest. I would observe that those who taunt GPs often have their own vested interests and the NHS is not one of them.’

Dr Buckman closed his speech by defending GPs against the threat of interference and reorganisation.

‘GPs don’t need to have borders redefined, care patterns made more complex, patients turned into commodities or another reorganisation. We need to be left to get on with our core business - clinical generalists making people better.’

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