Local GPs at cutting edge of healthcare reform

A group of Great Yarmouth GPs are leading the way in a new scheme to improve healthcare for local patients. The radical move allows doctors, rather than NHS bureaucrats, to make the key decisions that determine what services are provided locally. Unfortunately, opposition from the British Medical Association and other health lobby groups is slowing down this new process and hindering the hard work medical staff are undertaking to improve patient care here in Great Yarmouth. Today, I asked the Government to make a statement on these GP-led groups.

Business Questions – 2nd February 2012
Brandon Lewis: HealthEast is the GP-led commissioning pathfinder group that covers Great Yarmouth and, indeed, Waveney. May we have a statement on the progress of GP commissioning pathfinder groups across the country, given that, like HealthEast, many are enthusiastic about the programme and want to get on with the work, in order that local decisions can be made by local medical experts, rather than by central diktat in the NHS?

George Young (Leader of the House of Commons):
There will be an opportunity to consider this issue when the Health and Social Care Bill returns, but my hon. Friend makes a good point: many GPs step forward to act as volunteers for the clinical commissioning groups. It seems there is a broader appetite in the country for these reforms than the impression sometimes given by the leaders of such bodies. My hon. Friend will have seen that the heads of more than 50 new doctors groups have argued that the BMA’s policy of blanket opposition fails to represent their views. I am grateful to him for making that point.

2nd February 2012