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Tory MP voices GPs’ fears over reforms

15 February 2011

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A Tory MP has warned Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, that he risks ‘losing the profession’ over plans to reform the NHS.

Sarah Wollaston, a former GP, claims she was told she could only take part in committee discussions of the new health bill if she always voted with the government and did not attempt to table amendments.

The Conservative refused to sit on the committee. She told Pulse magazine: “Clearly I’m not going to participate in a committee if I’m told not to ask questions and that I can’t say anything against the party line. You can’t tell people they can consider a bill with the proviso that they don’t table amendments and that they always vote with the government.”

She said GPs were concerned about aspects of the proposals, including plans to get rid of practice boundaries and attempts to drive up competition, and said they were also worried about the scale and pace of reforms.

She said: “I’m very supportive of GP commissioning but I do feel there are key elements of the bill which we will need to strengthen if we are not to lose the support of the profession.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011


Do you agree with Dr Wollaston’s concerns Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Slightly ironic that the government thinks GPs are the best people to hold funds because they know all about the needs of patients, and yet when a GP actually becomes a government MP this supposedly vital knowledge is no longer welcome!” – Steve Hartley

“Just goes to show the minister for health is determined to railroad these monumental changes through despite the concerns that are expressed by the people with the most valid concerns ie, the medical profession. Is there a hidden agenda like the eventual privatisation of the NHS? or is it just plain ignorance and arrogance on Andrew Lansley’s part” – Name and address withheld

“I’m very concerned about the changes, the tories are moving too fast” – Wendy Ribbands, Bradford

“Yes, very much so. Normally you would want someone like Sarah on the committee but their actions show once again they do not want an informed discussion because they are so arrogant they think they have it right. NHS is heading toward either chaos or privatisation if Lansley has his way” – Dean Thompson, London

“Yes, especially the bit about practice boundaries. How will it work if patient registers in a major city because they work there in the week but live elsewhere, they take ill and need a visit at home perhaps 40 miles away has anyone in govt thought that through? I doubt it. Competition should be competition to be the best which surely we all strive for anyway not commercial competition. The most vulnerable will lose out and the loudest mouths will win out. There is also the thought of internal health tourism. We offer some services here that are not available in a small nearby town outside, our LEs allows us to take patients from there in relation to the service but I do not want people coming from all over the country. Maadness” – Name and address witheld