Date Published: 20 May 2010
BMA response to the Coalition Government's NHS plans
Responding to the new UK Coalition Government’s plans for the NHS, BMA Chairman, Dr Hamish Meldrum, said:
“ Doctors want to work constructively with the new Government and we are pleased that today’s plans prioritise clinical engagement with the medical profession – it is essential that this dialogue is meaningful and does not just pay lip-service to the notion of involving clinicians in proposals for the health service. Despite some reassurances about funding, the NHS faces a challenging time ahead with considerable funding pressures and any plans the Government has to make for efficiency savings should be based on clear clinical evidence and involve doctors at all levels to ensure that quality of care for patients is protected.”
Dr Meldrum added:
“ The BMA wants to see a lot more detail about the Government’s plans before responding to many of the specific policy areas. We are already aware of some of the proposals set out for GPs and we are willing and ready to discuss these with the Government. While we support sensible suggestions to improve patient access and choice, enabling patients to register with any GP practice they want will, in reality, be very complex, potentially more expensive and could threaten that important relationship between a doctor and his or her patients. We need to ask the Government whether, given the current financial pressures, now is the right time to embark on such a costly venture.
We agree that producing the best possible health outcomes must be a priority. Doctors always want to strive to improve their clinical results; however, it is essential that mechanisms for collecting and publishing data are robust, evidence-based and meaningful to health professionals and patients.
The idea of an independent board to oversee the day-to-day running of the NHS was first mooted by the BMA several years ago and the BMA also proposed more patient and public involvement at a local level. We will be very happy to discuss the development of these proposals with the Government.”
Source: British Medical Association..