The joint chairman of a new board in Surrey to improve public health services has supported the Government’s NHS reforms in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.
GP Joe McGilligan, who co-chairs Surrey’s Health and Wellbeing Board with Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling, was one of nearly 60 signatories who said the NHS will be “in peril” if the health reorganisation is derailed.
In the letter in Saturday’s Telegraph doctors involved in new commissioning groups that will have control of NHS budgets under the reforms were critical of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) policy of “blanket opposition” to the Health and Social Care Bill.
Dr McGilligan said: “Opposition from the likes of the BMA does not represent the views of GPs who are already commissioning services.”
Mr Gosling said: “We’re already pushing ahead on closer co-operation between health and social care for the benefit of people in Surrey.”
Surrey’s board has been set up as part of the national shake-up of NHS services to move more power to GPs and give local councils greater responsibility for public health.
Under the reforms, councils will take on the public health role of primary care trusts and local consortia of GPs will be responsible for planning and buying health services.
From 2013 all councils are required to have a health and wellbeing board. Surrey’s board will act in a ‘shadow’ advisory form until then.