CSP to support members through massive changes proposed for the NHS in the UK

The CSP says the government’s new health reforms could ‘alter the NHS beyond recognition’ and has urged that a range of health professionals have input into planning and decision-making.  CSP chief executive Phil Gray said the White Paper, ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ would have a potentially ‘far reaching’ effect on structures and services in England.  Critics fear the ‘pro-market’ changes could be damaging and destabilising.  Mr Gray pledged that the Society would campaign to retain national pay bargaining and a defined benefit final salary pension scheme for NHS staff.

The White Paper, launched by health secretary Andrew Lansley yesterday proposes to hand 80 per cent of the NHS budget to GPs and allow hospitals to leave public ownership to become not-for-profit companies.  GPs would form consortia and commission healthcare, such as hospital, mental health and community services, working with local authorities.  Ministers say this will put more health spending in frontline clinical hands, boost innovation, improve outcomes, extend patient choice and curb wasteful management costs.

The new structure would be overseen by an independent commissioning board, and would mean the abolition of all 10 strategic health authorities and 152 primary care trusts.

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