This media release draws attention to two recent examples of a continuing national problem,
one in the South East (Herne Bay), the other in the North West (Chester).
The release has been circulated addressed and copied to various parties, from whom I have invited comments:
This message is openly addressed to those who carry some responsibility for this abuse of the principles of the NHS.
|•||The practices have a contractual duty to determine that “persons will not pay more to make relevant calls to the practice than they would to make equivalent calls to a geographical number”, before choosing a telephone number. By suggesting that alternative geographical numbers are necessary, they clearly indicate a belief that some will pay more to call the number they have chosen.|
[Park Surgery (Herne Bay); Northgate Village Surgery;]
|•||The PCTs and the NHS Commissioning Board (which is taking over the relevant responsibility) have a duty to represent the interests of patients, by ensuring compliance with the terms of the GP contract.|
[Ann Sutton - Chief Executive - Kent and Medway PCT Cluster; Felicity Cox - Local Area Team Director: Kent & Medway - NHS Commissioning Board; Kathy Doran - Chief Executive - NHS Cheshire Warrington and Wirral; Moira Dumma - Local Area Team Director: Cheshire Warrington & Wirral - NHS Commissioning Board; Ann Sutton - Director of NHS Commissioning - NHS Commissioning Board;]
|•||The Department of Health has a duty to ensure that the respective responsibilities are clearly understood and that the information necessary to discharge them is accessible.|
[Nick Hall - Deputy Director - Department of Health; David Howarth - Department of Health;]
|•||The telephone system provider (Daisy Group) may be used, or may volunteer itself, as a source of information about the tariffs used by customers of telephone companies, including and other than that (Talk Talk) for which it acts as a reseller of the numbers in question. If claiming any competence in this role, it has a duty not to provide inaccurate information.|
[Matthew Riley - CEO - Daisy Group]
This message is openly copied to those who have a clear interest in the issue, for the reputation of themselves and that of the “reformed” NHS.
|•||Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Medical Committees represent their local GP communities. They will both be concerned to show that those they represent are clearly committed to the principles of the NHS. In the former case, they are stepping forward to accept a duty to apply them in making major commercial decisions.|
[Canterbury and Coastal CCG; West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group; Kent LMC; Cheshire LMC;]
|•||The GP Committee of the BMA has a national duty to represent its members. After initially declaring its opposition to the intention of the contractual revisions (suggesting that patients should pay according to the quality of service received), it now accepts that it has failed to secure this "reform" and support the continuing principles of the NHS.|
[Dr Laurence Buckman - Chairman - BMA GPC;]
|•||Local MPs have a duty to represent the interests of their constituents. As members of our parliament they share a duty to protect “our NHS”.|
[Roger Gale MP; Stephen Mosley MP;]
|•||Health Ministers have a duty to ensure that their Department, and those to whom relevant responsibilities are devolved execute the will of parliament, as reflected in the terms of NHS GP contract.|
[Jeremy Hunt MP - Secretary of State for Health; Anna Soubry MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State - Department of Health; Dr Dan Poulter MP - Health Services Minister;]
|•||Shadow Health Ministers have a duty to ensure that those they shadow are held to account for the discharge of their responsibilities.|
[Andy Burnham MP; Liz Kendall MP; Andrew Gwynne MP; Jamie Reed MP]