Health professionals urge peers to reject NHS reforms

In a letter to peers published today in the Daily Telegraph, experts from across the country said the changes must be rejected as they represented a risk to patient care and safety.

Among those who signed the letter were Amy Bird, speciality registrar in public health for Kent; Professor Stephen Clift, professor of health education at Canterbury Christ Church University; Dr Linda Garvican, quality assurance director for cancer screening programmes at NHS South East Coast; and Dr Angela Bhan, director of public health and managing director of Bromley Business Support Unit.

The doctors suggested the NHS reforms – due to be discussed in the House of Lords next week – will fragment services, possibly threatening vaccination and screening campaigns.

They write: “As public health doctors and specialists, we are concerned about the Health and Social Care Bill. The bill will do irreparable harm to the NHS, to individual patients and to society as a whole.

“The Government claims that the reforms have the backing of the health professions. They do not. Neither do they have the public’s support.

“The Health and Social Care Bill will erode the NHS’s ethical and cooperative foundations and will not deliver efficiency, quality, fairness or choice.”