Passage of health bill into law is unlikely to help GPs “heaving under the pressure” of NHS changes

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 13 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2043
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The passage of the Health and Social Care Bill into the statute books, which many believe will happen on 20 March, is unlikely to bring any relief from the chaos or confusion caused since it was published 18 months ago and won’t reduce pressure on GPs in England, say experts who have scrutinised the legislation.

Clare Gerada, chairwoman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, told the BMJ that the next few months will be spent “having to unpick what this complicated and conflicting legislation actually means.”

GPs have been “heaving under the pressure” to provide effective clinical care while many of their colleagues have been taken away from frontline care to set up clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and develop new services, she said.

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done regarding secondary legislation and the implementation of the bill, authorisation of CCGs, and giving expert advice to the national commissioning board,” she told the BMJ. “The only way forward is to release resources to help GPs spend more …

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