“Yet more people who don’t know what they’re talking about” – GP on Tory NHS policy

GPs across Wales have given a resounding message that the Conservative and UKIP policy to have elected Health Commissioners run Wales’ NHS would be a disaster for patients.

In November, Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, wrote to over 650 GP surgeries in Wales asking their views; 21% of GP surgeries responded.

 One question asked whether they would support a policy for directly elected health commissioners which would bring greater political influence into the NHS.  69% of GPs would not support this, with just 18% in support of the policy.

 Responses to the Conservative’s policy included:

  • ·         “Yet another layer of bureaucracy”
  • ·         “Another quango”
  • “We need less political influence, not more”
  • “A disaster”
  • “Waste of money, the police commissioners are a waste of time”
  • “We need to remove politics from the NHS”

Commenting, Jane Dodds, Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for Montgomeryshire, said:

 “The response from GPs is resounding: the Tories’ plans would be a disaster for patients in Montgomeryshire.

 “It’s utter madness to think that a load of elected politicians should be running our local health services.  We need less politics in our NHS, not more.

 “This ill thought out Tory policy would cost our NHS the equivalent of 220 nurses.  This is in stark contrast to the Welsh Liberal Democrats who want more nurses on our hospital wards.

 “Welsh Liberal Democrats have been calling for a cross-party and no-party commission to stop our NHS being treated like a political football and finally work towards solving some of these problems. It’s a shame that Plaid and the Tories are unwilling put patients before politics and take part in such a commission.”


Please find the NHS survey attached.

Tory policy can be read here: http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2014-10-18/tories-want-elected-commissioners-to-run-welsh-nhs/

Other findings included:

77% of GPs believe that the Labour Government’s headline policy to improve patient access to GPs has failed, a new survey published today has revealed.

97% believe more needs to be done to promote general practice as a profession;

69% support the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ proposals for an ‘Access to GPs’ scheme;

69% are against the Conservative and UKIP policy of introducing directly elected health commissioners;

66% are against the Plaid Cymru policy of scrapping health boards and placing major hospitals under one body;

45% said they would benefit from better mental health training

In a National Assembly debate on the NHS, the Conservative party said that its proposals for elected health commissioners would “operate on the same model as the Police and Crime Commissioner model.”   

Figures for the four Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales show that total office costs for 2015-16 are over £3.2m.  This is an average of £805,000 per office.  If these costs were replicated across the seven Welsh Local Health Boards with the creation of health commissioners, this would cost over £5.6m.  

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