Despite the college’s outright opposition to the Bill, RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada wrote to prime minister David Cameron urging him to work more closely with the college on NHS reforms.
Dr Gerada said that the college and the government shared a mutual goal; to provide the best possible care to patients, and therefore they should work together over NHS refoms.
Dr Gerada said: ‘While the college’s position on the Health Bill remains consistent, the truth of the matter is that whatever the outcome, it will be our 34,000 members in England who will be working hard to make it operable and who will be addressing the health needs of patients and communities.’
Dr Gerada called for the RCGP to be involved in discussions on key regulations implementing the Bill, such as clauses on procurement, patient choice and competition.
The college also called for an opportunity to work with the government on the development of the NHS Mandate - a document drawn up by the health secretary outlining the objectives of the NHS Commissioning Board.
As an alternative to the Bill, Dr Gerada advocated provider reform, GP-led integrated care and federated primary care organisations.
‘We also have evidence to show that the future stability of the NHS in England and the UK depends on getting more GPs, with longer training, spending more time with their patients,’ she added.
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