Care, Cooperate & Consult: Protect our NHS
CARE, COOPERATE & CONSULT: PROTECT OUR NHS
On 12 July 2010 the new coalition government released its White Paper on health http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Pressreleases/DH_117360. Although many of the principles on which this paper is based are well intended, the proposed radical restructure of the National Health Service carries many risks with potentially devastating consequences. This petition asks that The Government works in cooperation with the Public and health service staff to support the development of a more efficient and effective National Health Service. This petition asks that Government reconsider its plans to enforce a “top down” restructure of the NHS – a restructure which the majority of NHS staff oppose.
Support doctors to treat patients, don’t force them to become commissioners … We support that patients and clinicians from all disciplines (not solely General Practice) should be involved in the planning, commissioning and delivery of high quality, patient focussed care. The White Paper plans to deliver this objective by transferring the majority of the NHS budget to outside of the NHS. This budget will be managed by GP consortia. These consortia are made up of General Practices which are private, for profit, independent businesses. At a time when the NHS needs to manage its budget more effectively than ever before this proposal is a high risk option. NHS finances are not capable of withstanding the potentially devastating consequences of such a risk. This petition opposes the proposal to transfer the commissioning budget to GP consortia for the following reasons: • The restructure will be costly. The Government should be investing funds in improving care and making existing systems more efficient, not in conducting the largest restructure in NHS history. • GPs are not trained to manage a commissioning budget. As such GP consortia will have to employ staff or organisations to do this on their behalf. As such, it is unlikely that management costs will be reduced. • GPs are trained to act in the best interest of their patients, not commission services for a population. Public Health is the medical speciality in which these commissioning expertise lie. http://www.fph.org.uk/uploads/PartA_syllabus.pdf • GP consortia have limited experience of managing commissioning budgets. Practice based commissioning has failed to deliver its objectives to date. • Many GPs do not want to take responsibility for the NHS commissioning budget. Most GPs would rather focus on providing the very best care for their patients. Instead we propose: • The Government work with the current NHS structure to further promote the engagement of patients and clinicians in the planning, commissioning and delivery of high quality patient focussed care. We ask that The Government ensures GPs have access to the services their patients require by working with PCTs to strengthen commissioning as opposed to adopting an untested commissioning model which has absolutely no evidence to support its implementation.
In the midst of the financial crisis we urge that all Members of Parliament put “party politics” to one side and work together in the best interests of the Nation’s Health. In recent weeks our Health Minister Andrew Lansley has publicly made a number of disparaging statements about many hard working NHS staff. This has plunged the morale of NHS staff to an all time low. This is not in the interests of patients or the economy. We believe that it is possible for the NHS to become more efficient and deliver improved outcomes. This can only be achieved if politicians, NHS staff and the Public work in COOPERATION.
In this petition we ask that The Government adhere to its purported philosophy of not enforcing “top down” health policies. GPs care about their patient’s welfare – as do all health sector staff. All NHS staff want to improve services. There are many talented individuals who work in the health sector who could advise The Government as to how those improvements could be made. Many feel that their voices are not heard. We ask that The Government supports the NHS to work in partnership with the General Public, and listens to the grave concerns which are being raised regarding the restructure plans announced in this White Paper.