Andrew Lansley’s disastrous NHS reforms came a step closer to defeat this weekend with the welcome intervention from Dr Sarah Wollaston an GP and a Conservative member of Parliament. I was not alone in being surprised that Dr Wollaston was not selected for the committee that is scrutinising the Health and Social Care Bill, she must know more about the NHS than most MPs.
Perhaps we can now see the explanation. Writing in The Telegraph Dr Wollaston criticised the enormous disruption that the changes would cause and pointed out that GPs are not equipped to take on the task that Andrew Lansley proposes to thrust upon them. The GP consortia are likely “to fail and will have to hand over their commissioning to the private sector”.
Dr Wollaston has also clearly seen through Lansley’s claims that his proposals are about increasing local accountability. She writes “it is completely unrealistic to assume that this vast organisation can be managed by a commissioning board in London with nothing in between it and several hundred inexperienced commissioning consortia.”
Commenting Dr Charles West said:
“Last weekend Liberal Democrats spoke out loud and clear in their opposition to Lansley’s NHS reforms. And during the week Professor John Pickstone wrote a withering analysis of governments’ repeated reorganisation of the NHS. He pointed out that the market approach increasingly promoted by both Conservative and Labour governments has added enormously to the costs of running the health service and that the constant reorganisations have been ‘impediments to real improvement’.
“Now that the Liberal Democrats have been joined by a group of Conservative MPs in voicing their concerns we have a real chance to stop this latest attack on the NHS.”
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