Lansley Defends NHS Reforms: a Necessity, not a Gamble

As part of the Government’s NHS reform plans, GPs will soon become the central commissioning body of the health service. What this means is that GPs, rather than managers, will be responsible for deciding how money for patients is spent. This set-up will also see £80 billion of the NHS’s £100 billion budget spent at GPs’ discretion.

The process of disbanding the existing management system will happen over the course of the next two years. Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley said these layers of bureaucracy were merely “frustrating the changes GPs could make”. By putting them in charge of the brunt of healthcare decisions, “you have a much better model of healthcare”.

Others argue that this change will put GPs and patients on different sides of healthcare; an Alconbury and Brampton GP believes that patients will end up blaming their doctors for cuts that previously would have been attributed to the Government. Many counter that this shift of power to GPs will allow cuts to be made more efficiently.

Mr. Lansley says in the end, the reforms amount to patients having greater control over their healthcare. Bringing the management of care and management of resources together in one body is not a gamble, he insisted. “It would be a greater gamble not to reform”.

“Shared decision-making between patients and their clinicians is absolutely critical. We have to focus on outcomes, not targets”.