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Lansley defends move to GP commissioning


Health secretary Andrew Lansley has said most NHS commissioning decisions already involve doctors and nurses working in primary care, in defence of his reform agenda.   

The government is set to publish its health and social care bill, which will move its HS restructuring proposals nearer to becoming a reality, on Wednesday.

Speaking in the first of week-long series of sessions on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, Mr Lansley outlined his proposals to hand control of 80% of the NHS budget to GP commissioning consortia.

Attempting to justify his plan to sweep away primary care trusts and give their service purchasing power to groups of GPs instead, he said PCTs currently had to “second guess” clinical decisions made in primary care in order to make commissioning decisions.

He said: “Most of the commissioning decisions take place in general practice.”

Asked about whether all GPs would be able to commission effectively, he said: “I’m not arguing that every GP is up to it. It goes wider than simply general practitioners.”

The government also announced a further 89 “pathfinder” consortia that will pilot the idea today.

However, the proposals have today received renewed criticism from unions and healthcare bodies, including the Royal of Nursing and Unison, ahead of the legislation on Wednesday.

But Mr Lansley said: “The risks of going down this path are now greater than not.”

Earlier today, prime minister David Cameron also gave a speech at the Royal Society of Arts defending his government’s wider plans for the reform of the public sector.

Nursing Times is running a campaign with the aim of ensuring that all GP consortia are required to have a nurse on their board of directors. Click here to sign our petition calling on Mr Lansley to ensure nurses have a “Seat on the Board”.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Lansley has said most NHS commissioning decisions already involve doctors and nurses working in primary care, so why aren't Doctors AND Nurses given a full and equal say in the control of the NHS???

    I'm sorry NT, but having a token Nurse on the board IS NOT ENOUGH!!!! We deserve and demand an equal place and an equal say!

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  • 'It goes wider than general practitioners'

    How about NT invite spokes persons from the private U.S insurance companies and U.K. medical and care outsourcing companies to deliniate how much 'wider' than general practioners this is actually is. Personally I don't care who provides the service - it's the lies about no top down meddling in their election manifesto, and the deregulation that is especially worrying.

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  • I have just read the news on David Camerons "2nd rate" insult.
    The public are now obviously aware of the NHS crisis, but they probably not aware of how you as nurses are also being treated and threatened. So much you need to let them know of your changing working conditions
    Maybe now is the time for you to get rallies going and get your voices heard. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to wether to get the public involved....if they dont know the truth about what the nurses are going through...I feel you need them now to back you up, and now seems a great opportunity to let them know.
    Mr Cameron may have done you a favour.
    Good Luck UK nurses

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