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Can anyone stop Lansley from ruining your NHS?

February 7, 2012

Later this week we could learn that The Commons approves Andrew Lansley’s controversial bill. This is despite the volume of protests and dissent from health professionals. Today we learn how his backers are finally waking up to the true cost of the planned changes.

Backers of NHS shake-up turn against Andrew Lansley’s plans.

extracts include:-

“Things are going from bad to worse for Andrew Lansley. In the last fortnight there has been a deepening crisis of professional confidence in the government’s health bill, but until now the health secretary could rely on the support of the NHS Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care,” said Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary.

“Yet the bill’s biggest cheerleaders are now lambasting the increasing layers of bureaucracy. Even the health bill’s greatest supporters are now concerned that Lansley’s plans are so complex and full of worrying uncertainties that they risk thwarting the principle of true clinician-led commissioning.”

NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) are due to be abolished next year.

But the doctors are worried that the GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which will replace PCTs, will find themselves unexpectedly under the control of another organisation, the NHA National Commissioning Board (NCB).

In July the NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, said “CCGs will be the engine of the new system” and that the reformed NHS “gives pride of place to clinical leaders”. But the reality is that primary care doctors and clinical commissioners will not have the promised ability to make key decisions because the current bureaucracy is simply being replaced by another that is growing up around the NCB, the pair claim.

The Department of Health’s latest document about the design of the new board involves “layers of bureaucracy and management, with complex guidelines. The old ‘footprint’ [of the PCTs and SHAs], ie 50 local offices, remains there, plus four sector outposts, all using a single operating model,” the two organisations said in a joint statement .

The fact that many of the staff of the new NCB will simply be staff who have joined from PCTs and SHAs “adds to clinical commissioners’ concerns and perceptions that they will be suffocated, instead of liberated, which in our view is fundamental to the success of clinically-led commissioning”, they added.

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