GPs Hear Plans For New Style NHS

Health Minister tells local GPs transition will be difficult but 'worth it in the end'

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Minister for Public Health Anne Milton MP with Angie Bray MP

Angie Bray meets with GPs at Horn Lane Surgery

Department of Health

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The Health Minister has told a local audience that the revamped NHS will put public health back in the hands of the local authority.

GPs gathered in Acton on Monday night to listen to the Under Secretary of State for Public Health, Anne Milton MP, outline the plans.

Hosted by Dr. Akbar Khan of Horn Lane Surgery, the meeting was also attended by Angie Bray, MP for Ealing Central and Acton.

Under the plan, which will come into effect in 2013, local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) will be replaced by GP commissioning consortia, whereby the NHS will merely fund local providers such as hospitals, mental health and children's trusts, ambulance services and GPs.

Anne Milton said she understood concerns and anxieties over the implementation process but believed the new plan will "put public health back where it's supposed to be - in the hands of the local authority ."

"I acknowledge that this will be a difficult time,' Ms Milton told the crowd of 20, adding that she felt that GPs will play  pivotal role in how the £110 billion of NHS funding is spent.

"GPs know what their patients need and want. This is an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary one," she added.

Many doctors in attendance at the meeting were still unclear as to how the new change would affect them but they seemed in agreement that change is necessary.  Some were concerned that the quest for cost-cutting may be a challenge.

Dr. Mark Spencer of Hillcrest Surgery told the changes will 'be a challenge for all of us. We've got to  make savings of £1.8billion across North West London so some units, such as pedeatric units will have to go."  Dr. Spencer said "The question will be how do the consortia make clinical changes yet still save money." But he said the new way of funding the NHS will help to make financial decisions more transparent and that the needs of each local area will be better serviced.


February 9, 2011