Remember the days when “reform” meant things got better? When “modernisation” meant improvement?
Today, these are code-words for corporate welfare. Blair was good at that – and he’s now getting some back in the form of cushy jobs. Brown would like the same, no doubt, so he’s proving he’s just as good by helping big business get into provision of NHS services…
Doctors and patients’ groups have criticised proposals by health minister Lord Darzi to reorganise the GP system in England.
Lord Darzi wants to replace surgeries manned by a single GP with larger “polyclinics”, which are run by several doctors and offer specialist services.
The government has suggested the policy would only apply to bigger GP clinics.
But the British Medical Association says they will be wasteful and will undermine continuity of patient care. […]
Speaking to the BBC Breakfast programme, Lord Darzi said single-doctor clinics belonged in the past and warned that although “most patients love their GP”, a change was coming.
He believes polyclinics, which house GPs alongside medical services normally offered at hospitals, are better suited to patients’ needs.
Lord Darzi praised the “fantastic” relationship between doctors and their patients, but said it must be distinguished from modern practices, where there were now often several GPs working under the same roof.
He said: “I have no doubt in the future we are going to see a critical mass of general practitioners working together, rather than what we used to see in the past which were practices with a single-handed clinician.”
Ministers have already said they want to establish 150 polyclinics across England.
But Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, accused the government of trying to impose a “London-centric” model on the whole country, when it was inappropriate for less populated areas.
He said: “This is a government plan that is potentially going to waste hundreds of millions of pounds of scarce NHS resources, creating very large health centres that many areas of the country simply don’t need or want.”
He also warned the government’s proposals could bring competition for NHS work from large multinational private companies.
“They are effectively going to be looking for the cheapest bidder, who is going to run these health centres,” he added.