Is there any need for a listening exercise?

…and I wonder how much this will be costing in expenses. The Coalition is launching a ‘listening exercise‘ into their reforms of the NHS, staffed mainly by management and academics. But have they not already being paying attention? What more do they want?

We have already heard from the Chair of the RCGP (who is a real GP, and who has the support of her members) Clare Gerada, saying

‘I don’t know what they are going to find that’s any different from the thousands of responses they’ve already had. Everybody is saying more or less the same thing as what I’ve said – that this bill has serious problems associated with it.’

We have the Royal College of Nursing voting overwhelmingly in a vote of no confidence in Andrew Lansley.

The BMA have said they have ” serious concerns about scale and nature of the planned reforms which are hugely risky and, potentially, highly damaging”.

Professor Allyson Pollock and David Price write “All the evidence shows that universal health care for all cannot be delivered by a market; it will cost more and fewer people will get care. The winners will be shareholders, CEOs and directors of new companies while the losers will be the poor, the elderly and infirm – those whom the health service was designed to protect.”

And yet Lanesly is, incredibly, of the belief that GPs are behind him – the reason so many have signed up to Consortia is not because of enthusiasm for the reforms. It’s because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t. This is what Cameron said in 2008:

“We will stop the top-down reorganisations and pointless structural upheavals that have done so much damage in the NHS.” So what  is this?

The Coalition should stop the reforms, right now. Listen to what has already been said – including what you, David Cameron, have already said.

3 Responses to “Is there any need for a listening exercise?”

  1. Alan Henness April 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    “The winners will be shareholders, CEOs and directors of new companies…”

    You’ve nailed it.

  2. Penny Wolff April 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Has the government bothered to listen to that rather important ‘other’ stakeholder, the service user (aka patient/client)I wonder? I suspect not. Speaking as one such (though I have never met my GP in the 3 years I’ve been on his books), I would strongly prefer NOT to have my medical adviser to be the final arbiter (at one and the same time) of what funds were available to ‘manage’ my care. This is not to say that I do not have great respect for what GPs do – simply that I foresee many cases where a conflict of interest could arise. Commissioning and rationing needs to be the province of a more independent and hopefully impartial body such as a PCT…..!

  3. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney April 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Indeed. You are right, Penny – local decisions will lead to replication of work as well as making it more difficult to do – a mini-NICE repeated in every PCT – ineffient and less reliable. Many cost-effective decisions have to be taken in the nHS but must be transparent and equitable – as well as fully evidenced – with the end of NICE how will this work? we don’t know.
    The listening exercise appears to have been made up of people who agree with the reforms.
    Are you going to speak to your MP?

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