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Is NHS reforms support as strong as thought?

8th September 2011

In a Commons clash with Labour leader Ed Miliband, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed three key health sector organisations supported the government’s health reforms. But are the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Nursing totally behind the proposals? Full Fact investigates.

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Though welcoming parts of the government’s health bill, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) chair Dr Clare Gerada said her organisation is extremely worried about parts of it.

Following the RCGP’s position on the healthcare reforms being raised during Prime Minister's Question Time, she felt she needed to reiterate the position.

While the College supports putting clinicians at the centre of planning health services, it has concerns and if implemented in their current format, the RCGP fear they will lead to an increase in damaging competition, an increase in health inequalities, and to massively increased costs in implementing this new system.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has issued a press release on how it felt the bill could be improved but has not stated clearly whether it supports or opposes the bill.

It said it welcomed the mandatory involvement of specialist doctors and nurses in commissioning believing this will help commissioning bodies make informed local decisions about patient care.

But as they are from outside the commissioning area, the RCP remains concerns they will lack the local knowledge that should improve decision making.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) issued a statement explaining that it still has “very serious concerns” about the financial implications of the reforms.

It seems that in claiming that the organisations in question all support the bill, the Prime Minister has over simplified the position of all three bodies.

 

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