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BMA urges managers to be given time to absorb NHS reforms

19 November 2007

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has reacted cautiously to the publication of the new Health and Social Care Bill.

The organisation is concerned about alterations to the standard of proof at General Medical Council (GMC) hearings, and also about the level of change currently being experienced by the health service.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: “Doctors want a regulatory system that is more effective, supportive, and coherent rather than one where there is just more regulation. This is vital to protect patients’ lives and doctors’ livelihoods.

“The BMA will be keen to work constructively with ministers and officials during the establishment of the new regulatory body for England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“Given the new body will have responsibility for secondary care and potentially primary care as well, many of our members will be affected by its regulatory powers, so it is important that the BMA works with the Government to develop processes that effectively protect patients and support doctors.

“We have concerns, however, that this new body represents yet more change and reorganisation for the NHS.

“In recent years the NHS has gone through unprecedented reform and it has struggled to keep up with the numerous changes that have been forced upon it.

“The BMA urges the Government to allow the necessary time for managers and staff to adapt to and work with new systems, if the Government really wants these changes to succeed.”

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