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RCGP members call for withdrawal of Health Bill

12 January 2012

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In an RCGP survey of its members, the overwhelming majority have demanded the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.

The poll of 2,600 Royal College of GPs (RCGP) members found 98% would support the college in seeking the withdrawal of the bill through a partnership with other medical royal colleges.

Ninety-two percent said they would offer their support if the college chose to go it alone.

The survey also found nearly two-thirds of respondents feel more negative about the impact of the Health Bill since the RCGP’s last survey issued in the Autumn.

Only 5.3% said they feel more positive.

Fewer than 14% of GPs surveyed said they expected the reforms to result in better patient care with more than three-quarters believing the reforms would not be successful in reducing bureaucracy in the NHS.

“The headline results of our latest straw poll are of course very revealing, but there is also very strong support for continuing to work with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and other parties, to press for changes, and this work will continue over the next few weeks,” said RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada.

“The Report Stage of the Bill is expected to be held in the House of Lords at the end of January, so it is timely for us to reiterate our concerns and show the government that we want to continue working with them to bring about positive change for the benefit of our patients.

“This survey makes it clear that if any changes made are not strong enough to address these concerns, there is strong support within the profession not only for us to call for more change urgently but also, should the situation warrant it, for the withdrawal of the bill itself.”

Following the survey results, the RCGP has once more written to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley with its concerns over the impact of the Health Bill.

Such concerns include the Secretary of State’s role in securing the provision of care and the role of competition.