#weekinreview - 3 February

A glance back over this week's primary care news, opinion, top tweets and best gaffes.


Thought the Tories didn’t like targets? A scheme to assess clinical commissioning on 120 new measures will perpetuate ‘target culture’ in the NHS and could harm patients, the GPC has warned.



Breakfast for Lansley? Journalist James Macintyre (@James_Macintyre) retweeted by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp):

Of the Health Bill, RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada (@clareRCGP) – who reveals in next week’s GP magazine that the Health Bill means she is working 20-hour days – tweets:

GP author Dr Raj Thakkar (@DrRajThakkar) is unhappy with the government’s Health Bill consultation:

In other news, Sir John Oldham (@SirJohnOldham), a GP and the DH’s clinical lead for quality and productivity, outs his Skype enthusiasm:



Thanks to recent backing from Stephen Fry (@StephenFry) GP Dr Kailash Chand’s (@KailashChandOBE) bid for a parliamentary Health Bill debate is nearing 45,000.

It needs 100,000 for a debate but former deputy prime minister John Prescott (@JohnPrescott) pledged to post a video of him singing should it read 50,000.




GP deputy news editor Tom Moberly (@tommoberly) suggests ‘Drop the Health Bill’ to the tune of The Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah’.



@ClareRCGP recommends two blogs which argue against an opinion piece by the King's Fund chief executive Professor Chris Ham (@profchrisham) suggesting it’s time to move on from Health Bill criticism.

Durham University’s Professor Ian Greener and his academic blog:

Why ask GPs to commission services when they are trained to look after people – that’s like asking airline pilots to buy aeroplanes – it makes superficial sense but not with much scrutiny. We are presently throwing out all the expertise we’ve acquired about commissioning services as PCT staff are made redundant or find their views less valued than those of consultancy firms who know less than nothing of value about the realities of buying care services.

Healthcare commentator Roy Lilley (@RoyLilley)

People are concerned about the whole system collapsing. They know the totality of commissioning is beyond GPs. The DH knows too but, because of the Bill, they are replacing three layers of competent management with five layers of supervision for novice commissioners with half the staff and resources.

Here’s a little bit of @profchrisham for balance:

The time for grandstanding about the bill has passed. The challenge now is to carve out a path to implementing the reforms that brings about necessary improvements in patient care at a realistic pace. If this means modifying the direction and speed of change in response to legitimate concerns, then it will be a small price to pay to deliver an outcome that is good for patients. The prime minister surely knows this, but can he persuade health ministers this is more important than resisting further concessions?

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