Power transferred to GPs in NHS shake-up

NHS managers are scrapped as family doctors gain control over spending £70 billion.

It has been reported that just a few hundred GPs will take complete control over billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money in a new NHS revolution.

With plans to scrap NHS manager roles, and family doctors instead assuming responsibility for spending £70 billion, it promises to be the biggest upheaval in NHS history.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said of his new proposed structure: ‘It will put patients right at the heart of decisions made about their care and put clinicians in the driving seat on decisions about services.’

Lansley’s plans, which he believes will cut management costs by up to 45 per cent, promise an ‘information revolution’ with patients gaining greater control over their clinical team, hospital, and even their form of treatment.

It also aims to focus on improving results, including cancer survival rates, and putting GPs in control of out-of–hours care.

Concerns have been raised, however, on the effectiveness of the new scheme, and whether turning the NHS on its head is worth the risk. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham argues: ‘It is a huge gamble with an NHS that is working well for patients.’

Questions are being raised as to whether any money will actually be saved. Many family doctors have little commissioning experience and will therefore need to assign new managers to these roles. In the event will old NHS managers simply move over to take these jobs in the 500 new GP-led organisations?

There is even the worry that GPs, who have been unenthusiastic about taking on commissioning powers in the past, could demand further pay to carry out their demanding new roles.

David Furness, of the Social Market Foundationthink tank believes: ‘At best this will be a waste of time, at worst a waste of money.’

Do you agree with David Furness? Is it a waste of time and money? Or do you think it is time that power was transferred from the bureaucrats to GPs? Let us know your thoughts below.

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