Today’s Extraordinary General Meeting of the Royal College of Physicians saw heavy criticism of the foundering Health and Social Care Bill.
186 Fellows of the College attended the EGM, which passed the following motions. Only the first is binding on the College, as the papers for the EGM were sent out before the other motions could be added to the agenda papers.
1. 80% voted in favour of the College surveying its membership about the Health and Social Care Bill; 16% voted against, with 4% abstaining.
2. 89% agreed that the Health and Social Care Bill will harm the health and healthcare of the population (8% voted against, 3% abstained)
3. 79% agreed that the College should publicly oppose the Health and Social Care Bill (18% voted against, 2% abstained)
At the EGM, consultant neurologist Dr David Nicholl announced the results of an informal online survey of members and fellows of the College.
Over 92% of 878 fellows and members who responded to the survey said they believed the RCP should publicly call for the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.
Dr David Nicholl commented:
“I’m delighted at the result of today’s EGM. The College has made major efforts to improve this deeply flawed Bill, but the time has come to state publicly that overall the Bill will do damage to the NHS and the health of our patients. College Officers now realise the strength of feeling among members and fellows.”
Dr David Cohen, Consultant Stroke Physician, London, added:
“Today’s EGM recognised the huge gap between the spin that Ministers have tried to give to the Bill and what the Bill actually says. “The proposed “reforms” will actually deliver less care at a higher unit cost. Asking consultancy companies, that have to make a profit for shareholders, to commission healthcare and manage the chaos of contracts that the Bill would create is going to cost far more than the current system, and waste enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money that should be used to improve the health of our patients..”-
ENDS – Notes to Editors
Dr David Nicholl, Consultant neurologist, West Midlands, 07562 720142
Dr David Cohen, Consultant stroke physician, London 07774 900504
Ian Willmore (media) 07887 641344
Statement from Dr Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet
Dr David Nicholl Guardian Comment is Free. “we did not arrive at this position quickly or lightly. But after scrutiny and debate, our conclusion is that the bill is incoherent, damaging to the NHS and beyond rescue.”