Intended for healthcare professionals


Bury the bill

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 26 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4050

Do you hate the Russians more than you love your children?

Two arguments are commonly rolled out as to why we shouldn't oppose
the Bill. One is that we must embrace it because it promises to get rid of
PCTs and SHAs which were anathema to many GPs. This reminds me of the
bumper sticker that was around during the cold war - do you hate the
Russians more than you love your children?

Do people really hate PCTs and SHAs (already endangered species) so
much that they are prepared to see the NHS and the profession bombed to
oblivion by the Bill? It makes no more sense now than it did during the
cold war. And the RCGP has already calculated that the amount of
bureaucracy is about to rise exponentially so farewell to reducing
management costs.

Then we hear that GP commissioning is a good idea, and surely GPs can
do it all better. Yes, of course, a no brainer. Except that what is on
offer is not some commissioning nirvana but a commissioning nightmare,
with the NCB breathing down your neck on one side, the Orwellian Co-
operation and Competiton panel on the other, the private sector waiting to
asset strip you and 20 billion savings to be made.

The Bill is on offer in its entirely. It can't be cherry picked for
morsels, although it's not even clear whether any remain. It has to go,
and hats off to the BMJ for saying so

Jacky Davis

Competing interests: Co chair NHSCAmember KONP

05 July 2011
Jacky Davis
London NW5