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General practice is on a cliff edge - and ACOs could tip it over

The latest acronym to hit the NHS is ACO – Accountable Care Organisations. You would be forgiven for sighing with disbelief at yet another change to the way the NHS operates. It wasn’t enough for the Conservative led coalition to push through the single biggest reorganisation of the NHS with the Health and Social Care Act 2012 – a change so big you could ‘see it from space’ according to the then NHS chief executive David Nicholson.
ACOs are the latest reorganisation by NHS England which Simon Stevens expects to “deliver fast-track improvements, such as fewer emergency hospitalisations and better care in people’s homes”. On the face of it that sounds like a good plan but the potential seismic shift in how the NHS runs under an ACO is frightening.
ACOs will seek to bring together all organisations (providers and commissioners) offering health and social care under ‘one roof’ in a geographical area. Social care is now based on means testing so you have to pay if you have some savings. Th…

Second-guessing your GPs referral

It has become apparent that some parts of the country will see the NHS intervening and looking at your GPs referral if you need to see a hospital doctor or other specialist service.

This made me consider a few issues and the implications of this. The excellent OpenDemocracy published my thoughts and you can find them HERE.

Why are GPs considering closing their patient lists

Below is an FAQ composed and supported by the people named at the end of the document. The document is to be used to explain the reason why GPs are considering such a significant move. GPs are reaching breaking point and we must make the government sit up, listen to the professionals and fund and support the NHS and general practice adequately.



Charges to see a GP

On June 29th 2017 at the annual BMA meeting of UK representatives I proposed a resolution that stated -


Motion by NORTH WEST REGIONAL COUNCIL: 

That this meeting opposes charges for patients:-

i)  to see a GP;
ii) if an appointment is missed. 


The resolution was passed with a significant majority and now becomes BMA policy. It was an important moment at a time when many commentators and some politicians are saying 'we need an honest debate about what the NHS can afford' which is doublespeak for 'lets bring in some charges to use NHS services'.

This was the speech I gave......


Chair
The BMA has clear policy supporting the 1948 founding principles of the NHS – comprehensive care free at the point of access available to EVERYONE funded from general taxation
We see a growing call to introduce charges to see a GP.
This will introduce a consumerist approach to healthcare. A consumerist approach will become part the doctor patient relationship. That will corrode the relationship w…