Patient care is priority

Madam,

We are very satisfied with the National Health Service in Wirksworth.

We have an excellent medical centre, and a dedicated team of doctors. The Derby Royal Infirmary and Derby Royal Hospital, (formerly The City), have also given us efficient caring service for many years.

The coalition’s NHS reforms are no doubt well intentioned but the results of such drastic changes could be very costly in financial and patient care terms. We cannot see how the proposed re-organisation will improve what we have, in fact, we fear it may make it worse.

Doctors have only so much time and energy and too much of it will have to be spent on consortia and commissioning business, to the detriment of patient care. Surely GPs could be given more control of finances without the cost of abolishing Primary Care Trusts, which will involve sacking skilled, experienced people, giving them redundancy payments, then probably re-employing many or all of them as administrators to enable GP’s to concentrate on patient care.

The power and wealth of private companies may lead to the NHS being unable to compete and it may lose contracts – and even hospitals, to these willing providers. Do we really want an American style medical insurance-based health system for the few who can afford it?

The NHS must remain the National Health Service, but it could well become the PPS –The Private Providers Service, with, after initial ‘loss leader’ offers from private companies, accountable only to their shareholders, increased costs and services.

We ask the coalition to make patient care its primary concern, to improve what needs to be improved and to consider the consequences of every proposed change, before it is too late.

Don and Jill Hughes

Lady Flatts Road

Wirksworth