Questions mount about cost of Cameron’s wasteful re-organisation.
Labour have today published stark new figures revealing yet further evidence of the full cost of the Government’s dangerous NHS re-organisation.
The new NHS bureaucracy created by David Cameron’s Health Bill is paying GPs twice.
As GPs take on new roles as part of NHS commissioning boards, they are paid to attend board meetings and a further payment for locums to cover surgeries. New figures also suggest that GPs will be paid additional sums to attend meetings regardless of whether locum cover is required.
Freedom of Information responses received by Labour from 54 Primary Care Trusts across England show that hourly rates range from £48 per hour in County Durham to £115 per hour in Hertfordshire. In Wiltshire GPs are paid £26,000 per year to cover their commissioning duties, and in Coventry the chairs of the new clinical commissioning board are paid £35,000 each.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “When the NHS needs every penny it can get, patients will be appalled to hear that David Cameron is paying GPs twice.
“The Government are putting GPs in a difficult situation with their plans. It makes no sense at all to take GPs away from patient care to become part-time accountants. Patients and taxpayers lose hands down as the NHS foots the bill twice.
“What clearer illustration could there be of the sheer madness of Cameron’s plans than paying GPs twice while 48,000 nursing posts are being axed.
“These figures show yet more hidden costs of the Government’s plans, asking the NHS to pay for GPs who choose to attend meetings of the new commissioning boards and again for a second doctor to cover their surgery appointments. In some cases, we’ll see this adding up to tens of thousands of pounds per year for each doctor involved.
“This comes on top of the £3.45bn that the Government has ordered be set aside to pay for this unnecessary reorganisation. It is absolutely scandalous to spend money on redundancy costs when every penny is needed for patient care.
“David Cameron has chosen the worst possible time to re-organise the NHS. It is already facing the biggest-ever financial challenge and this wasteful re-organisation threatens to throw the health service into chaos.
“Cameron and Lansley have failed to build public or professional consensus for their re-organisation. GPs don’t support them and can see the damage they will do the profession and to the NHS.
“We are calling on patients, the public and NHS staff to sign the ePetition and add weight to our campaign for the Government to drop this Bill and give the NHS the stability it needs to focus on meeting the financial challenge.”Other news from The Labour Party