There will be more private sector involvement in the NHS after planned changes to the healthcare system are brought into effect, a survey of GP consortia suggests.
The radical reforms introduced by the coalition government will see strategic health authorities and primary care trusts axed and they will hand over responsibility for the commissioning of services for patients over to GPs.
GPs currently tasked with piloting the new system were questioned about their plans for seven areas of support. The survey by Pulse magazine revealed that six consortia only planned to use NHS managers across these areas while three out of 25 said they intend to outsource at least six out of seven to the private and voluntary sectors.
Half said they planned to enlist external support for human resources, 29% for accounting, 29% for data analysis and 29% for back-office support.
Overall, 11 were already talking to private or voluntary sector organisations about commissioning support, and seven have signed deals, the survey found.
Just over half of pathfinders said they were on course to break even under current commissioning systems, while a quarter were at risk of falling into deficit without some structural change and 20% said they would fall into severe deficit without major structural change.
Copyright © Press Association 2011
"Certainly GP is a dying profession because the GPs who have a contract will cling on and encourage specialist care to help save cost and make profit. If you are blaming bankers today, tomorrow it will be the doctors. The care offered by GP (compassion, support and family support) will disintegrate. I think people who abused the NHS and demand investigation, treatment and complained for not referring to specialist care as if it is their birthright must share the blame for destroying the NHS. I worked in hospitals for almost 20 years and as a GP for 10 and know majority of people need the support of GPs more than specialist care. In the last few years I felt sad when people treated us (doctors) as slaves, demanding abusing and even violently attacking if they did not get what they wanted. We were also blamed by the PCT, media and people in power. Now the reality is NHS cannot afford to maintain the system nor can they get back the doctors who defend people with passion. Majority of people who consult GPs are not physically ill but need care, support and not drugs. Private care encourage physician to investigate and offer treatment. This will not only increase the cost of care but will also reduce the quality of care. The future of GPs who passionately believe in
alleviating pain and suffering and not dishing out prescription drugs that seldom cure is now dead" – Dr Sri, London