BMA press releases archive

BMA response to health white paper

(issued Monday 12 Jul 2010)

Responding to the publication of the Government’s health white paper today (Monday, 12th July 2010), Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of BMA Council said:

“The proposals announced in today’s white paper will have a substantial impact on the NHS and patients. We are looking forward to discussing the details behind these new initiatives in more depth and playing an active role in the consultations that follow.“

On plans for commissioning of health care, Dr Meldrum said:

“Doctors are ideally placed to help determine the health needs of their local population. Every time they see a patient they have to make decisions about their care, in partnership with them. Doctors, and their staff, already take the lead on designing services and innovating new treatments for patients and will be interested in discussing how these roles will be enhanced. They will wish to see how the proposed changes allow them to work collaboratively, and in partnership with their patients, to facilitate improvements in the care pathway and to see unnecessary barriers and bureaucracy removed.

“Any reorganisation of the NHS must take place in consultation with clinicians so that it does not cause any disruption to patient services or needlessly waste the valuable time of healthcare professionals.”

The BMA has long called for better data to help measure and improve performance. Dr Meldrum said:

“Although giving patients more information about their care is to be encouraged, we need to be very careful about how we use any outcomes-based data to ensure it is meaningful to both the profession and patients.

“Plans to link outcomes to NHS funding will need to be carefully thought through to ensure that any payments are a true reflection of the activity and cost involved.”


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