Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 911 - 919)




  911. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you to our witnesses for attending today. As you know, we are conducting an inquiry into the Government's policy on drug addiction. We have received an enormous number of written submissions, the best part of 200, many of which are flatly contradictory; so we are hoping that the representatives of the medical profession here today are going to help guide us through this minefield. Perhaps it would be helpful if I could clarify who everybody is. Dr Gerada is from the Royal College of General Practitioners. How does that overlap with the BMA or does it overlap?
  (Dr Gerada) It does not overlap in the sense that the Royal College of GPs represents the training aspects of general practice, though there is some joint working with the BMA.

  912. Do your members overlap with the membership of the BMA?
  (Dr Gerada) Our members would overlap. Not all members of the BMA would be members of the Royal College of General Practitioners but all GPs would be members of the BMA.
  (Dr Thompson) Mostly but not all of them.
  (Dr Gerada) We have about 18,000 members in England.

  913. Dr Thompson represents the NHS Alliance.
  (Dr Thompson) That is correct.

  914. Can you tell us what that is.
  (Dr Thompson) It is an organisation which grew out of the National Association for Commissioning GPs. It represents commissioners mainly within the NHS including primary care groups, primary care trusts and individual GPs.

  915. Has that sprung up in competition with the BMA?
  (Dr Thompson) Not at all, no. It comes from a different perspective really. It is focusing mainly on the interests of commissioners rather than GPs as GPs or doctors as doctors, but its not in opposition to or in competition with the BMA.

  916. How many members do you have?
  (Dr Thompson) I am afraid I am not sure.

  917. But your membership includes more than just GPs?
  (Dr Thompson) Yes. It includes primary care organisations, commissioning organisations and primary care groups and trusts.

  918. And practice managers?
  (Dr Thompson) In that practices can become members of the NHS Alliance, yes.

  919. So a wider range of health professionals?
  (Dr Thompson) A wider range of primary care and health professionals in primary care.

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