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Medicopolitical Digest

Labour party says fundholding should evolveNHS will not fund private nursing careWMA acts on family violenceGPs accused of wrong diagnosesProfessions secure safeguards on comparative advertisingNHS Health Advisory Service will have new role

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 09 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1211
  1. Linda Beecham

    Labour party says fundholding should evolve

    The Labour party's health spokesman, Mr Chris Smith, has told the annual conference of the National Association of Fundholding Practices that fundholding should evolve rather than be abolished. From April 1997, 56% of all general practitioners in England will be fundholders caring for 58% of the population. Mr Smith told the conference, “We are not zealous ideologues. I don't think you are either. Let's see if we can map out a sensible way forward.”

    Although the Labour party has strongly criticised fundholding since it was introduced in 1991, Mr Smith acknowledged that the scheme had brought “substantial advantages.” The party will shortly issue detailed plans, which are likely to support multifunds but not allow budgets to remain at the level of individual practices.

    The chairman of the association, Dr Rhidian Morris, said that doctors wanted to keep control of their budgets so that they could continue to provide improvements in health care. “Doctors want to manage their patients' care, not be managed.”

    The minister for health, Mr Gerald Malone, told the conference that from April 1997 there would be no minimum entry requirements for community fundholding. This means that many small practices in rural areas with fewer than 3000 patients will be able to join the scheme.

    NHS will not fund private nursing care

    The government has shelved a proposal endorsed by the Commons health committee that long term care in private nursing homes should be funded by the NHS to alleviate the growing problem of who …

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