RCGP polls members on Health Bill withdrawal call

RCGP members are being surveyed on whether the college should call for the Health and Social Care Bill to be withdrawn.

Dr Clare Gerada: wants no misunderstanding of the college's position

College chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said this would be the last opportunity to seek members’ views.

In a letter sent to members along with the poll, she said: ‘As a profession we must now decide on a way forward which reflects our unique understanding of how these changes will impact on the health system we work in and the patients in our care.'

She added: ‘It is my view, and that of many others, that stopping the Bill now, placing GPs in the majority on the boards of the PCT clusters or National Commissioning Board outposts and focusing on addressing the serious financial crises facing the NHS, is the safest way forward for patients and communities.’

She said the NHS faced ‘an uncertain, potentially very unstable future’. As the Bill has progressed through parliament, ‘further evidence has emerged which has deepened our concerns’, such as the £25 per patient management allowance for commissioning groups, she said.

Dr Gerada stressed the importance of hearing members’ views at this time. ‘We have reached a critical moment in the College’s work to take forward our profession’s concerns about the Heath and Social Care Bill,’ she said.

‘When we look back in years to come, I want there to be no misunderstanding of the position the College has taken or criticism that we did not do enough to inform and engage members or to protect patients and the NHS.’

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