Family doctors in Brighton and Hove believe that “no further NHS services should be offered to the private sector”, a local campaigner said today (Thursday 10 January).
Ken Kirk, of the Brighton and Hove Keep Our NHS Public group, spoke out after sending a survey to 163 GPs (general practitioners) in the city.
And he urged the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group to heed their views when it takes responsibility for commissioning health services from April.
Mr Kirk said: “Of those who responded, 74 per cent think the privatisation of the NHS has gone far enough and that no further NHS services should be offered to the private sector.
“The clinical commissioning group will certainly need to listen to GPs if we are to maintain a coherent and collaborative local NHS in which GPs are able to have appropriate treatments available locally for their patients.
“The concerns of the GPs echo those of over 3,000 local residents who petitioned NHS Sussex in December.”
NHS Sussex is the primary care trust that currently commissions health services in Brighton and Hove.
Mr Kirk said: “We would urge the clinical commissioning group to be transparent about their plans to keep the NHS a publicly owned and accountable institution and to allay the fears of both GPs and patients.”
The survey, which was posted to 163 GPs in November, asked them to select one of three options.
- All local NHS services, from orthopaedics and cancer care to all community and ancillary health services, should be open to any qualified provider who wants to bid for them.
- Some local NHS services should be open to any qualified provider who wants to bid for them.
- By the time the clinical commissioning group takes control in April, privatisation will have gone far enough. No further NHS services should be offered to the private sector.
Mr Kirk said that 46 of the 163 GPs replied, a response rate of 28.2 per cent. This was, he said, an acceptable rate when compared with academic research expectations.
Five family doctors favoured allowing any qualified provider to bid to provide local NHS services and four agreed that some services should be open to any qualified provider.
Three doctors replied but did not choose any of the three options.
But 34 agreed with the third option, saying that privatisation had gone far enough and that no further NHS services should be offered to the private sector.
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