Just 12% of psychiatrists believe the government’s NHS reforms will lead to better patient care, as legislation to enact them enters the House of Lords today.
The Bill would open up NHS-funded care to “any qualified provider” and place commissioning responsibility in new clinical commissioning groups, headed by GPs.
Some 86% of psychiatrists thought the reforms would lead to greater fragmentation of care, while 85% disagreed that it would improve integration between health and social care or deliver cost-effective care.
“Our findings are extremely worrying,” said Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
“Our mental health service users are a particularly vulnerable group, who already experience considerable health inequalities. History tells us that in times of economic restraint, when combined with major reform, those with mental health problems fare the worst.”
New shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has also called for the government to scrap the Bill while it is expected to be significantly amended in the House of Lords.
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