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Members win praise for lobbying effort

CSP chief executive Phil Gray used the recent quarterly meeting of council to thank members involved in the CSP campaign against the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act.

The government’s controversial plans for overhauling the NHS in England became law at the end of March.

Speaking at the council meeting in March, Mr Gray said the society had managed ‘an excellent lobbying campaign in very difficult circumstances’.

This included members completing surveys, writing to MPs, lobbying a Lord or attending one of the TUC coordinated rallies and marches.

Since the proposals for the NHS were published in June 2010, the society has raised deep concerns over the implications for the future of the NHS.

It has responded to 14 government consultations, five health select committee inquiries and to both phases of the ‘listening exercise’ led by the NHS Future Forum.

Intensive lobbying, by the CSP and its members, alongside others, secured a shift from the original proposal for GP-led commissioning to broader clinically-led commissioning.

Mr Gray said the campaign had also raised the profile of the society in the longer term. ‘The CSP has been seen as a really serious player alongside the royal medical colleges, the Royal College of Nursing and British Medical Association, as well as other health unions.’

The society would now build on its existing work to support and equip members in providing solutions to the new commissioners, Mr Gray said.

‘We must be positive about the contribution physiotherapy can make and to show that physiotherapists are part of the solution.’

What the act will mean

  • Primary care trusts (PCTs) in England will be replaced by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) 
  • CCGs (made up of clinicians, but mainly GPs) will have responsibility for the £60 billion NHS budget in England, deciding on care for patients 
  • There are already 240 CCGs. They should take up their statutory duty by 1 April 2013
  • Strategic health authorities will be abolished 
  • CCGs will draft and implement local commissioning plans, including for physiotherapy services 
  • The new NHS Commissioning Board will manage the CCGs and commission some primary care and specialist services 
  • Responsibility for public health will transfer from the NHS to local authorites. A new statutory body, Public Health England, will provide national leadership
  • Any hospital not already a foundation trust will be expected to become one 
  • NHS hospitals will be able to earn up to 49 per cent of their income from private patients 
  • Charities, social enterprise units and private healthcare firms will be able to bid for NHS work in England. This ‘any qualified provider’ system is already underway in some areas.

For more information on the reforms, see ww.csp.org.uk/nhsreforms

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Article Information

Author(s)

Lynn Eaton

Issue date

4 April 2012

Volume number

18

Issue number

7

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