David Cameron today claimed the Royal Colleges of GPs, Physicians, and Nurses all support his NHS reforms - a claim at odds with reality that was met with incredulity.
David Cameron told parliament today that “you now see the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nurses all supporting our health reforms” – a claim at odds with reality that was met with incredulity.
As Ed Miliband said, only yesterday, in a letter (£) to the Times, Dr Hamish Meldrum (BMA chair), Dr Peter Carter (RCN), Dr Clare Gerada (Royal College of GPs), Prof Cathy Warwick (Royal College of Midwives), Prof Sue Bailey (Royal College of Psychiatrists), Phil Gray (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), and Peggy Frost (British Association of Occupational Therapists) warned the health bill would “destabilise” the NHS.
They wrote (£):
“Though the language may have changed, the government remains committed to opening up the NHS further to market forces as a priority. Without building in appropriate safeguards, extending choice to any qualified provider risks seriously destabilising existing, mainly NHS, providers and making it much harder to develop the integrated care patients want and need.
“We share a number of more detailed concerns, including: the removal of the private patient income cap; ‘bonus’ payments to clinical commissioning groups, and the need for further reassurances over the Secretary of State’s responsibility to provide a comprehensive health service.”
Furthermore, last Friday, the RCN expressed “continued fears over the role of competition, the lifting of the private income cap and a number of other issues”; chief executive and general secretary Dr Carter said:
“At a time when the NHS needs to find £20 billion in efficiencies, tackle waste, work harder to prevent ill health and deal with an aging population, we are telling MPs that this Bill risks creating a new and expensive bureaucracy and fragmenting care.
“This fragmentation risks making inequalities worse, and preventing health providers from collaborating in the interests of patients. We must avoid a situation where existing NHS providers are left with expensive areas of care while private providers are able to ‘cherry pick’ the services which can be delivered easily.”
Health professionals and organisations which care about the NHS have long opposed the reforms – with the most enthusiastic supporters including wealthy bankers, privatisation fanatics, Freemason enthusiasts and anti-NHS extremists who describe the NHS as a “Stalinist, nationalised abhorrence”.
This is, of course, not the first time the government has grossly exaggerated the level of support for its reforms. In February, Number 10 claimed the organisations “broadly supportive of the reforms” were the King’s Fund, NHS Alliance, NHS Confederation, Royal College of GPs, and The Nuffield Trust – all of whom had grave doubts.
As Miliband said:
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“I think he’s convinced the country’s he is on another planet from them, he’s on another planet.”