IT IS has been described as the biggest shake-up in the NHS in years.
And though we have to wait until April to discover which family doctors will be running the health service in this area, concerns are already being expressed about the timing, scale and likely outcome of such a comprehensive change in the way our services are delivered.
The government’s view is that its White Paper, Liberating the NHS, is a means of modernising the way in which those services are currently provided.
It would see £80bn switched away from Primary Care Trusts to GPs who would band together to commission the services needed to deliver almost every aspect of our health care.
But is this change sufficiently thought out and realistically able to deliver the services people demand from a health sector already fully stretched and facing tougher financial times than ever? And could the switch to GP management of the services turn out to be merely an extra burden for GPs whose expertise is after all in patient care?
While grave doubts remain, a slower scale piloting of the changes might have been prudent.