GPs are clinicians in healthcare, not expert accountants

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From: Margaret Plummer, Rosedale, Leven, Beverley.

WITH reference to the article “The price of change” (Yorkshire Post, January 18) on planned reforms of the NHS, having worked in the service for 30 years as a clinician, manager and non-executive director of a primary care trust (PCT), I learned to acknowledge some fundamental facts.

GPs are not “team players,” they are, rightly, stars in their own firmament, individuals who are in healthcare as clinicians, not accountants. Consortia for financial re-structuring of commissioning are anathema to them. Purchasing, when last offered to GP practices, was delegated to newly-retired bankers, appointed to deal with finance at all levels.

PCTs have done well to establish patient choice. Choose and book works in most areas. As James Gubb states (Yorkshire Post, January 18): “PCTs have built systems, processes and relationships, supporting the commission of health care.”

By 2013 they will be abolished, only then will function and purpose be separated, when both are lost.

From: Lee Ingham, Claremont Road, Leeds.

AS the first footballer to be a panelist on Question Time, the former Leeds United player Clarke Carlisle put in a good performance earlier this month.

Although I did not agree with everything he said, it was good to hear someone speak openly and honestly. He was noticeably different from the politician next to him, who talked about her desire to give the public “choice”. Am I alone in wanting politicians to say what they really believe rather than hiding behind the mantra of “choice”? Am I alone in not wanting a choice of hospitals but just wanting the nearest one to be good enough? Am I alone in wanting some “bureaucrats” to organise it, rather for my GP to do it? One choice I would like is for the coalition to leave our hospitals and GPs alone.

And this is something I know I am not alone in thinking because Clarke Carlisle, now of Burnley, suggested so.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

THE Conservatives made a huge error in privatising the utilities of gas, electric, water as well as British Railways.

Now they are about to bring in, via the backdoor and undercover, privatisation of much in the NHS, and will follow that by privatising our forests, parks, woodlands, and nature reserves.

The Tories know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.