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Hundreds of GPs slam the health reforms

Doctors write public letter claiming Bill will cause chaos

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Over 300 doctors have written to a national newspaper to refute claims that the majority of GPs support the Health and Social Care Bill.

The letter signed by 365 GPs, specialists and health academics and published in today’s Daily Telegraph states: “SIR – The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leaders who support the Health and Social Care Bill (Letters, January 28) do not represent the majority of GPs, who believe that the Bill will seriously damage patient care. More than 90% of GPs polled by the Royal College of General Practitioners said that the Bill should be withdrawn.”

The letter continues by stating that the NHS ‘is not in peril’ if the reforms do not go ahead and that it is the Bill which ‘threatens to derail and fragment the NHS’.

The doctors, including Dr Marekt Koperski from Camden CCG and Dr David Jenner lead at Eastern Devon CCG, warns that the Bill will result in hundreds of different organisations pulling against each other, leading to ‘fragmentation, chaos and damage to the quality and availability of patient care’.

The letter, which calls for the Bill to be dropped, is a tit-for-tat move in response to a letter published in the same paper just days earlier in which 56 GPs who are leading the set-up of CCGs wrote in support of the Bill, claiming the NHS would be in peril without it.

Responding to today’s letter – a Department of Health spokesman said the survey quoted in the letter was ‘flawed and unrepresentative’.

“It allows people to vote as many times as they want and it includes views from people all over the UK, when the Bill is only relevant to England,” said the spokesman.

He added: "We believe that there is strong support for our reforms from large sections of GPs across the country. A recent open letter, from NHS Alliance and NAPC, which represents 6,000 practices covering 75% of patients in England, reinforced support for the Health and Social Care Bill."

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