The Independent London Newspaper


National poll of medics: reforms will destroy NHS

Published: 17th December, 2010

GOVERNMENT proposals to reform the NHS do not have the support of medical professionals, according to a snap national poll of experts organised by Islington activists.

More than 220 prominent consultants and medical experts across the country signed a petition organised by Keep Our NHS Public co-founder Dr Wendy Savage and Whittington Hospital consultant Dr Jacky Davis.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley wants to transfer control of budgets and decision-making powers from primary care trusts to GPs’ consortia.

The petition signatories – including two peers, 42 GPs and 21 professors – believe the proposals will “destroy the NHS as we know it” and lead to more private provision.

Dr Davis said: “The Secretary of State keeps claiming he has the backing of the profession but he doesn’t. The majority of GPs are realising they will be taking the blame for the cuts and that decisions on closures are being devolved to them.”

She said the government was changing the role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – which decides if expensive drugs can be given to patients with life-threatening conditions – so the decision will be down to individual GPs. 

“In the past, patients trusted that their GP’s decision about them was based on best clinical judgement,” she said. “Now patients may be wondering whether a decision has been made because the consortium doesn’t want to spend the money. 

“The whole basis of the doctor-patient relationship will be under attack from these changes.” 

On Tuesday, the Department of Health said that while it was “unshakably committed” to the values of the NHS, its plans to allow “any willing provider” to take on services commissioned by GPs were vital to using taxpayers’ money more effectively.



Post new comment

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.