Health and Social Care Bill

Memorandum submitted by the following - Malcolm Alexander, Ruth Barnes, Jos Bell, Paul Bywaters, Alex Chambers, Frances Chilemana, Judith Cook, Jane Corbett, Dr Sarah Corlett, Dr June Crown, Dr Jack Czauderna, Susie Daniel, Surindar Dhesi , Debbie Fox, Jean Fraser, Dr Mike Joffe, David King, Sue Laughlin, Michael Leonard, Dr Robert MacGibbon, Daniel MacIntyre, Ruth du Plessis, Rita O’Brien, Thara Raj, Isobel Rosenstein, Professor Wendy Savage, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, Professor Aubrey Sheiham, Dr Katherine Smith, Victoria Smith, Ruth Stern, Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, Alex Trouton, Marie-Noelle Vieu, Lynsey Warwick-Giles, Professor Jane Wills, Robert Williams (HS 32)

At a meeting held in London on 5th February, it was agreed by the above members of health professions and the public that the following be forwarded to the Health and Social Care Bill Committee. We wish to draw to your attention and to request your action regarding the following important aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill.

1 . The contradiction between unrestricted patient choice of provider and centralised GP consortium commissioning makes effective commissioning impossible

2 . The absence of a minimum price tariff inevitably causes reductions in standards due to the sacrificing of clinical quality in an attempt to achieve the cheapest tender

3 . The knowledge that, when making referrals or treatment decisions doctors may be guided by vested interests in consortium policies rather than by the best interests of patients, undermines the doctor-patient relationship

4 . The inverse care law whereby poorer people receive poorer services will be reinforced by the ability of wealthier, more knowledgeable, or healthier people to shop around for GPs or GP consortia whose commissioning policies meet their perceived needs

5 . The transaction costs of implementing the Bill will be a drain on scarce health service resources

6 . Because the notion of unrestricted patient choice of provider imposes unpredictable variation in demand for any given provider or service, any kind of forward planning of services or economies of scale will become impossible.

February 2011 (Revised)