Tell GPs to put patients over profits, say health campaigners

Article published: Tuesday, March 26th 2013

Local GPs should choose to give patients NHS care rather than refer them to private companies, health campaigners have said.

gmatuc nhs demoThe family doctors are gaining new powers over where the NHS buys in its care through newly established “Clinical Commissioning Groups” (CCGs) in a radical shake-up of the health service.

Keep Our NHS Public activists say the complex changes give private companies fresh opportunities to make money from the NHS, and are taking to the streets of Greater Manchester to spread the word.

Tameside campaigner Bernadette Hyland told Mule the group is handing out postcards that members of the public can send to their GPs, urging that they pick the NHS as the priority provider.

“We don’t want them to go for Virgin”, said Hyland. “We want to know who they’re contracting with.”

Activists will run a street stall in Tameside this Saturday to spread the word and ask locals and doctors to join their campaign.

Hyland said the group wanted to ensure that CCGs are accountable to the public, and transparent about who they deal with. “It’s not clear what the role of the public is and it’s not clear how we can have an impact”, she said.

Tameside CCG is planning “Patient Participation Groups” according to its website, with the intention of developing and agreeing local healthcare priorities “in order to meet local needs and to reflect the interests and energies of the participants.”

Hyland warned that nothing has yet been set up, and it was not known what the groups will be allowed to discuss. “We’re all part of the NHS”, she said. “We’ve all got a right to have a say.”

Richard Goulding

Greater Manchster Keep Our NHS Public meets fortnightly at Friends Meeting House, Manchester city centre. The next meeting is on Monday 8 April, 7pm.

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  1. Bernadette Hyland says “We’re all part of the NHS”.

    No we aren’t.

    We all pay for it and own it.

    That’s why we have a right to have our say.

    GPs are not part of the NHS. They are private contractors who sell their labour to it. As they account for a huge majority of public contact with NHS funded care with quite a high degree of public satisfaction with the service they provide, they demonstrate that private provision is a success.

    So there is no real need to scaremonger about extending private provision within the NHS.

    Comment by pete on March 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

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