Controversial health bill passed despite Tower Hamlets GPs’ protest

The government’s controversial health bill is set to become law despite a daring campaign spearheaded by Tower Hamlets GPs to have it dropped.

On Tuesday night, MPs voted in favour of health minister Andrew Lansley’s radical restructuring of the NHS after the bill successfully passed through the House of Lords.

Last month Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group – the team tasked with implementing the new strategies – wrote to David Cameron urging him to ditch the reforms.

Led by Dr Sam Everington, a former government health advisor, the letter stated the bill would “generate bureaucracy” and “compromise (GPs) ability to focus on what really counts”.

But despite the CCG’s efforts failing to sway the government, it is unlikely Tower Hamlets GPs will defy the new set-up.


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In their letter the medics indicated they would implement the plans if they became law, stating: “Tower Hamlets Primary Care team has a long tradition and reputation for innovation and commitment to partnership working with patients and managers. We make the best of any challenges that come our way.”

The Health and Social Care Bill will lead to a major restructuring in the way the NHS is run.

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GPs in each district will be in charge of their own budget and the private sector will be encouraged to bid for services, which the government hopes will drive up efficiency and reduce costs.

But the bill had attracted strong criticism from influential groups including the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association.

Tower Hamlets CCG had become the first in the country to openly oppose it.

The bill will be now be sent to the Queen for royal assent, and is expected to become law next week.

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