CAMPAIGNERS have handed a petition to GPs calling on them to stand up to NHS ‘privatisation’.
From April, bodies of GPs – known as clinical commissioning groups – will be in charge of buying hospital and other care services for their patients,
The 38 Degrees campaign group fears it will lead to “creeping privatisation” as companies bid to provide treatments previously provided by the NHS.
Petition organiser Carole Reeves said: “The standard of care provided by the private companies is a concern, as is what will happen to existing NHS facilities.
“How will it impact on, say, Sunderland Eye Infirmary if hundreds of cataract operations are taken away from them and done elsewhere?
“The private companies want to skim off their profit which we feel will all too easily lead to a lower standard of care.”
Carole lives in Durham City, which will come under the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group. She and 30 fellow campaigners handed over a petition signed by 844 people.
Dr Kate Bidwell of the group said: “This is about patient care, so we were pleased to meet the group to hear their concerns.
“We are covering a wide geographical area and are determined to avoid the recreation of a postcode lottery.
“The preservation of the NHS is fundamental to us.”