Medics slam NHS changes

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MEDICAL chiefs have slammed a Government shake-up of the NHS, claiming it could harm patient care.

Senior consultants and doctors from across the region sent a scathing letter to the Government as the Health and Social Care Bill gets its second reading before Parliament today.

In the letter, medics reveal major concerns about aspects of the bill that introduce enforced competition in the NHS. They also express fears that large profit-driven companies will enter the NHS and health services that are not deemed as profitable will be ignored.

They also feel patient care will be hit if training of junior doctors does not remain nationally led. The concerns come from GP, consultant and associate medical representatives across the region, including Sunderland.

Under the Bill, GPs will be handed power over commissioning treatment worth £80billion, while strategic health authorities and primary care trusts will be abolished by 2013.

The letter says: “There is no doubt that clinically-led commissioning offers real potential and could genuinely improve patient care and efficiency. However, enforced financial competition creating a health “market” risks damaging our health service.”