Critics remain unconvinced that 180 amendments have improved the health bill

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 27 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4795
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The revised Health and Social Care Bill, which will usher in substantial changes in the NHS, is still floundering without majority support from the medical profession despite many changes.

Opposition to the reforms is building despite the government’s revisions to the bill in the form of 180 amendments made after recommendations from the NHS Future Forum, the body appointed to review the government’s plans.

The BMJ, having spoken to several informed sources, has found that although some believe the bill to be slightly improved from its original form, many others consider that the bill’s basic aims are intact and have not changed.

MPs on the parliamentary Health and Social Care Bill Committee, which was reconvened to scrutinise the changes to the bill, agreed the revised version on 14 July. It will return to the House of Commons in September and pass on to the Lords later in the year on its way to becoming law.

Several important concerns remain, however, such as competition between providers with more scope for the private sector to provide NHS services; more central control of clinician led commissioning; and a tripling of the statutory bodies in the NHS, …

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