GPs question their White Paper commissioning role

GPs are not convinced that plans to hand the profession control of commissioning most NHS services will generate savings.

Mr Lansley believes the White Paper will liberate the NHS
Mr Lansley believes the White Paper will liberate the NHS

Many fear it could have the reverse effect. They are also deeply concerned about the impact the changes will have on their relationship with patients and angry at being forced into a role they were not consulted about.

A selection of comments (see below) from GP newspaper’s snapshot poll, released within hours of the White Paper being published, show how the profession is feeling.

Click here to view health White Paper 2010 news and analysis

What concerns GPs most about the White Paper plans?
‘GPs will not have genuine power of comissioning - they will not be able to stop funding expensive projects of dubious value, e.g. walk-in centres, NHS Direct, the summary care record. So GPs will end up with the blame for rationing but no power to make significant savings and bring real benefit.’

‘Being forced to join a consortium with practices I do not want to be intimately linked to and who will affect my budget and performance by affecting the consortium with non-engagement or adding to financial risk. GPs should have a choice of who they form a consortium with.’

‘There is no clear, logical or believable argument presented that convinces me that this is going to save money where other versions of this system haven't. It is destined to fail because there will always be pressure on budgets - patients' expectations and medical advances will always outstrip the ability of the NHS to afford that level of care. We need an honest debate about what a national health service can afford to provide for everyone and politicians have always avoided that.’

‘Haven't got the time, haven't got the interest, not sure I even have all the skills and I doubt it will ultimately save money. It will create multi-tiered services and risk increasing health inequalities.’

‘The government is breaking up and privatising the NHS with a big role for big business. It will lead to inequalities and ultimately the demise of general practice as we know it.’

'A very significant change to the GP contract imposed without consultation or consent.'

‘Who is going to work on the shop floor ?’

Why some GPs feel positive about the changes:
‘GPs can commission services a whole lot better than PCT managers. PCT managers just pay out what the providers bill them for. They have no clue if the services have been provided or not, let alone measure the quality of the services. Many such expenses are wasteful at best and bordering on fraud at worst.’

‘Excellent idea. It will save millions of pounds of wasted money, get rid of useless layers of self important overbearing penpushers and open up effective, direct and immediate public access to cost-effective best care options.’

Take part in our new White Paper 2010 survey to be entered into a draw for £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Editor's blog: Dear Mr Lansley, why should GPs embrace your White Paper and commission?

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