Intended for healthcare professionals


Cameron’s summit deepens divisions among professionals over health bill

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 21 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1294
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The prime minister emerged from his summit on Monday 20 February with supporters of the coalition’s changes to the NHS proclaiming that choice for patients, with GPs at the helm, was resulting in better care.

The summit became notorious even before it took place for its exclusion of groups that have called for the Health and Social Care Bill to be withdrawn, including the BMA, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal College of Nursing.

Those invited included the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the NHS Confederation—all of which have remained open to negotiating amendments to the bill to see it passed into law.

At the summit David Cameron reiterated the messages that he has been stating since the bill was laid before parliament in January 2011: that the NHS was safe in his hands and that competition would provide better care for patients.

Mr Cameron insisted that the meeting has been “constructive and helpful” and that there were “quite a few myths that we need to bust about this reform.”

He said, “Choice for patients …

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