I have just come across a very interesting article in MarlboroughNewsOnline which is based on an interview they did with Tony Barron, the outgoing Chair of the NHS Wiltshire PCT.
NHS Wiltshire is being replaced by the new Wiltshire CCG (clinical commissioning group) which takes over the job of commissioning NHS services in Wiltshire. The article is well worth reading in full, but the gist of the article is that Tony Barron is very critical of the way the Government has handled the restructuring of the NHS and is clearly equally concerned about the future of the NHS.
Mr Barron, who has been through 11 restructurings of the NHS, describes the current process as equivalent to “throwing everything up in the air and still today, making up the rules and regulations for what we have to do by 31 March”. He tells of the government denigrating his staff but then expecting them to take responsibility for implementing the restructuring.
Of particular note was Mr Barron’s concerns for the future of the new CCG and the financial pressures on hard working GPs trying to manage million pound budgets on a few days work per week and, reading between the lines, subject to conflicts of interest. GPs are effectively running small businesses and may also have interests in the private companies that will be offering their services to the CCG.
We have already seen how Virgin Care achieved a potentially influential position on our CCG. This may have been allayed slightly, but it seems that there is still a risk of conflicts of interest. Doctors running GP surgeries, who are also setting up private businesses to cater for the monetisation of the NHS, will be subject to conflicts of interest both in their GP surgery and additional conflicts if they are also a member of the CCG.
Here is an article from the BMJ giving an account of their own research showing that more than a third of GPs on commissioning groups have conflicts of interest resulting from directorships or shares held in private companies.
“As NHS Wiltshire disappears its Chairman criticises government’s methods & worries about new risks” by Tony Millett, Marlborough News Online, 12 March 2013. (Accessed 16th march 2013)
“More than a third of GPs on commissioning groups have conflicts of interest, BMJ investigation shows” BMJ (Published 14 March 2013)
Salisbury NHS Watch
Health / NHS
More news about the Wiltshire CCG / PCT:
£200,000 health HQ revamp questioned Swindon Advertiser, Wednesday 20th March 2013
Revealed: big increase in costs of running NHS commissioning for Wiltshire Tony Millett, Marlborough News Online, 08 February 2013