Royal colleges step up Health Bill opposition

The Royal College of Radiologists has joined the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in opposing the Health and Social Care Bill.

The Royal College of Radiologists said: ‘Given our widespread concerns over many serious and as yet unresolved issues, the Royal College of Radiologists cannot support, and must continue to oppose, the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill in its current form.’

Earlier this month the RCN announced its opposition to the Bill. It said the Bill posed a ‘serious threat to the NHS’ and did not deliver on the original aims of the reforms.

The RCM expressed similar concerns. RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said:  ‘This bill is a massively expensive distraction from the challenges that the NHS faces in trying to improve healthcare at a time of severe spending restraint.’

The RCGP has also hit out against the Bill. RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said the college will call for its withdrawal 'should the situation warrant it'.  A poll earlier this month found 98% of RCGP members think it should call for the Bill's withdrawal.

Dr Gerada said: 'I have written again to the health secretary and given him another opportunity to meet with us, inviting him to suggest ways in which we can move forward, although I still await his official response.'

The Faculty of Public Health is currently surveying members on whether or not it should oppose the Bill, following an informal vote indicating membership opposition.

The BMA recently met the RCN and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to discuss their approaches to the Bill.

However not all medical colleges have decided to oppose the Bill. The Royal College of Surgeons has announced that despite having concerns around the reforms, it will continue to work with parliament to improve the proposed legislation.

It said: ‘The college believes that the Bill should be implemented without unnecessary delays, as otherwise procrastination, without an alternative cogent plan, will lead to further chaos and be to the detriment of patients.’

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