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Bexley GP commissioning head “government not clear about plans”

PUBLISHED: 12:58 01 February 2012

Howard Stoate

Howard Stoate

Archant

The head of the GP consortium in Bexley said it is not clear what the government wants to do with healthcare .

Howard Stoate is a partner at the Albion Surgery in Pincott Road, Bexleyheath, where he has worked parttime since he became an MP 15 years ago until the last election.

He agrees with clinicians being in charge of commissioning healthcare but said he does not back everything in the controversial Healthcare Bill. Bexley GPs became one of the first consortiums to take over responsibilities from the Primary Care Trust when they were handed power in December 2011, before health secretary Andrew Lansley’s White Paper had a reading in the Commons.

The Lords is working on amendments to the Bill which proposes abolishing PCTs by March 31, 2013, and is today due to be discussed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, a group of 20 organisations, and unions.

Mr Stoate, who lives in Dartford and is still a member of the Labour Party, said: “Many people are still anxious. I am anxious. I still think the government has not clarified what it wants to see. I am not doing anything in terms of politics.”

When asked if he agreed with the Bill, he said: “No, I don’t in its entirety. I agree with the principle of putting clinicians at the heart of decision making. My job isn’t about politics. “There isn’t a division [with GPs in Bexley]. We have had practice-based commissioning in Bexley for four years, when we formed the Bexley clinical cabinet. We were ahead of most.”


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