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Bill critics told ‘common sense will prevail’

26 October 2011

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The Chair of the NHS Alliance will retire from his post once the clinical commissioning framework has been developed.

Speaking to MiP, Michael Dixon said he only had a couple of years left in his post before he would have to give way to ‘young blood’.

He emphatically denied there are discussions being held on whether NHS Alliance will wholly merge with the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).

A coalition between the two bodies championing clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) has been cemented as an interface organisation, allowing it to become a separate entity.

Dixon warned there is a danger of general practice dying if GPs sit back from the challenge to create a sustainable NHS.

He claims general practice will become a salary service, comparable to that of dentists.

“If GPs turn their back on the NHS, they shouldn’t expect the system to support them,” he said.

The development of enhanced training is “crucial” to prevent this.

Dixon, as Chair of the Royal College of Medicine, together with the NHS Staff College told MiP of his intention to set up a leadership faculty to help GPs and Responsible Officers in commissioning roles.

In discussion of one of the biggest sticking points of the bill – the role and accountability of the Secretary of State for Health, Dixon spoke of his frustration.

“People want to fight and debate while Rome’s burning,” he said.

“The sum effect of such weighty and empty arguments means CCGs are being emasculated.

“This is very frustrating.”

Dixon argued that those opposing the bill might be correct in their criticisms and focus on its ‘bad plots’ but “have to understand that common sense will prevail in the end”.

“They are getting too stuck down with possibilities when they need to get down to the reality,” he said.