GPs in south and east London attack David Cameron for claims they support the Health Bill

Taking the campaign to the people. Pic: Jane McCallion

East London GPs have attacked the Prime Minister for claiming they support the government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

In a letter published in the Times, GPs from Hackney, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Croydon, said: “David Cameron is wrong to claim that GPs support the Bill simply because they are members of Clinical Commissioning Groups. Being involved in commissioning does not equate to support for the Bill.”

They said the Bill, which is currently under deliberation in the House of Lords and has been heavy opposed, would “make clinical commissioning more difficult as it will be a confusing, costly, bureaucratic disruption to our work”.

Two CCGs, Tower Hamlets and City, and Hackney, have officially rejected the Bill, as reported by EastLondonLines, and the GPs say they expect more to do so.

“We are all GPs involved in Clinical Commissioning Groups or commissioning through our practices and we are opposed to the Health and Social Care Bill.

“We believe the Bill will harm patient care, fragment the NHS, increase costs and bureaucracy and turn a public service into a competitive market, leading to reduced access, greater inequity, reduced quality and worst outcomes.”

Dr Clare Highton, chair of City and Hackney CCG, Dr Louise Irvine, member of Lewisham CCG Pathfinder and Dr Isabel Hodkinson, co-vice chair of Tower Hamlets CCG led the signatures of 225 GPs, which can be found in this letter.

Dr Kamran Khan of Croydon CCG was also among the names.

While some leaders of CCGs have expressed their support, polls have shown that most GPs are opposed to the Bill. GPs are concerned the views of CCG leaders are “not representative” of the majority. As well as the letters published in the Times, the Telegraph and others, GPs have launched a billboard campaign urging David Cameron to ‘drop the Bill’.

The Heath and Social Care Bill has been debated for months. A mass rally for those opposed to the Bill will take place tomorrow at Westminster.

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