GPC in 'driving seat' on GP commissioning, says adviser

The GPC is 'in the driving seat' to make demands in this year's contract negotiations, according to a former health adviser to Tony Blair.

Paul Corrigan, now an independent health consultant, says the BMA will push its anti-marketisation campaign when negotiations to make GP commissioning compulsory start.

‘Andrew Lansley has made sure GPs are the absolute cornerstone of his policy without being certain they will do it,’ he said. ‘The GPC is in the absolute driving seat to make demands of what they want.’

His comments came as health campaigner John Lister said the BMA was making a ‘historic mistake’ by engaging with the DoH’s White Paper reforms.

‘I very much hope that the BMA will take immediate steps to strengthen the very limited critique which seems to inform its current policy,’ he wrote in a letter to BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum.

He said the BMA stance put a ‘fig leaf of credibility’ over Conservative plans to privatise large swathes of the NHS.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said he opposed the DoH’s ‘any willing provider’ policy, but did not think the BMA could stop it.

‘The GPC is not in the driving seat. The government is seeking our help and advice but if we said we’re not going to do any of it then I think they’d just stop listening,’ he said.

The BMA is still ‘finding out what things mean’, and responding to White Paper and GP commissioning consultations, said Dr Buckman.

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