Oppose health bill

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WE know doctors taking part in Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have patients’ best interest at heart and want things to be driven by clinicians and are trying to get the best out of the new arrangements.

Moving work from hospitals to the community and getting GPs around the table with consultants to break down the divide between hospitals and GPs is a real test of the reforms.

However, the CCG’s work s seen by the Government as support for the Health and Social Care Bill. The Prime Minister says that GPs are getting on with it in 90% of England, whereas we know that in a poll, 90% of GPs were opposed to it.

The Government is not listening to professionals. We urge the CCG to make its position clear and indicate to the Government their opposition to the bill.

Dr Jack Czauderna, Dr Sheila Abdullah plus 12 other doctors

Sheffield Save Our NHS cannot agree with NHS Sheffield’s Dr Tim Moorhead that these changes are not a top-down approach. We also consider that necessary changes to the NHS can still be achieved without the expensive chaos and significant loss of morale which these proposals have induced. At least half of the new Clinical Commissioning Group (including several GPs) were already members of the previous NHS Sheffield Board. If additional GPs are spending more time in management, they will see fewer patients. The difficulty of getting an appointment is an important reason for rising A&E attendances. We welcome Dr Moorhead’s pledge to oppose outsourcing the administrative side of the commissioning service to management consultants. However, the introduction of competition to a huge swathe of NHS services will result in more and more services falling into the hands of private and profit-making companies. This is a fundamental threat to the values of the NHS and will prove more expensive to everyone in the long run.

Mike Simpkin