Health and Social Care Bill

Memorandum submitted by Baj Mathur (HS 87)

Concerns and observations on the proposals

Notwithstanding various initiatives which are already being taken in London and particularly in Hillingdon in respect of winding down PCTs and the formation of GP Consortia, the following issues need consideration:

1. Big Business: £80 billion worth of services will be commissioned. Fully opening up the NHS to Private Health Providers is a big financial deal. Private companies with their profit motive and shareholders’ interests should be keenly watched. Measures need to be put in place in respect of excessive profiteering.

2. Consultants: Large firms of consultants are and will be employed to help in the establishment and work of GP Consortia. They don’t come cheap.

3. GP Consortia are being / will be formed. How will it be ensured, that many GPs do not turn into managers and financiers? Are there not already serious constraints on GP’s own time?

4. Transition period: Instabilities and uncertainties during the transition period in particular impact on staff. Already there are redundancies on one hand, and efforts are being made on the other to find the right calibre of staff for the proposed new organisations.

5. Premises: Ensuring that no excessive resources are directed towards constructing new buildings to accommodate the new commissioning system.

6. Postcode Lottery: The proposals could lead to more inequalities as a result of postcode lottery in the Healthcare Services. How to ensure that this does not happen?

7. Health Watch: is charged with many responsibilities including taking, investigating, and reporting concerns of Patients and Carers. It needs to be stressed that for this organisation to be effective in carrying out all its functions it should be properly resourced, and have the power to impose sanctions.

March 2011