I fear the public is being lulled into a false sense of security regarding the NHS.
On April 1 the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) came into legal force. It has been the stated intention of this government that GPs will control the contracts that they make for the healthcare of their patients. This now seems to be in doubt.
The amendment of the NHS Act 2012 will make it obligatory to put most services out to competitive tender (ie ask for bids from private companies rather than leaving a contract with the NHS).
Many GPs have financial stakes in the non-NHS companies competing for contracts. This conflict of interest will require them to withdraw from the contracting process, and thus leave GPs in a minority for CCG decision-making.
Chichester has shown in the past it cares deeply about St Richard’s Hospital, and has worked hard to secure its future.
I think your readers need to be aware the future is no longer secure.
Dr Diana Brighouse