Health reforms - where they stand

Bodies, representing specialists across the NHS, have expressed a range of concerns about the government's Health Bill, currently going through the Lords. Some have called for it to be scrapped, while others want specific concerns addressed. Here is where they stand, and their key comments.

Body Who Members For or against? Key quote
FoPH logo

Faculty of Public Health

Sets standards for specialists in public health in the UK.


Kill bill

"Our latest survey of members found that 93% of those responding said that the Health and Social Care Bill, if passed, will damage the NHS and the health of people in England. Three quarters of our members called on FPH to demand the complete withdrawal of the Health Bill."


Royal College of GPs

The membership body of family doctors overseeing the delivery of general practice care."


Kill bill

"The concerns we expressed when this Bill was at the White Paper stage 18 months ago have still not been satisfactorily addressed.

Competition, and the opening up our of health service to any qualified providers will lead not only to fragmentation of care, but also potentially to a 'two tier' system with access to care defined by a patient's ability to pay."


Royal College of Anaesthetists

Seeks to ensure "the quality of patient care through the maintenance of standards in anaesthesia, pain management and intensive care."


Hostile to bill

"Unfettered competition is likely to harm the provision of comprehensive integrated care, affect clinically indicated changes to service provision, widen health inequalities and may impact adversely on the education and training of tomorrows doctors.

"The proposed changes are likely to be costly and will distract the NHS from meeting the proposed quality improvements for patients."

RCoO logo

Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Oversees the science and practice of ophthalmology.


Hostile to bill

"The key areas for concern and risk are - unhealthy and unfair competition, conflicts of interest of key stakeholders, compromised education and training of doctors, fragmentation of care, a shift from patient-centred to organ-centred care and inequalities in health care."


Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health

Founded in 1996. Oversees training and practice in child health.


Kill bill

"We've never supported this bill, but we have engaged with the government to try and make the best of it.

"But we're a membership organisation and paediatricians views have changed and hardened considerably. We've surveyed our membership and their view is that we should now call for withdrawal of the bill."


Royal College of Pathologists

Oversees the training and practice of pathology.


Hostile to bill

"We are not convinced that there is enough operational detail in the current or in the proposed commissioning process.

"And we are extremely concerned about the current and future impact of the combination of the

changes this bill brings, the current manner and pace of reconfiguration of services, including managerial, and the arbitrary removal of 20% from NHS spending on pathology services."


Royal College of Physicians of London

Has overseen the work of physicians for 500 years.


Concerns over bill

"The areas of most concern to RCP fellows and members are the areas on which we have been strongly lobbying government, MPs, peers and other stakeholders: training, education and research; use of the private sector; commissioning by clinical commissioning groups; and choice and competition."


Royal College of Psychiatrists

The professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the UK.


Hostile to bill

"The bill is fundamentally flawed and will not improve the health and care of people with mental illness.

"The college is therefore not able to support the bill as it currently stands."


Royal College of Radiologists

Represents the disciplines of clinical oncology and clinical radiology.


Hostile to bill

"Given our widespread concerns over many serious and as yet unresolved issues, we cannot support, and must continue to oppose, the passage of the bill in its current form."


Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Oversees training and practice in obstetrics and gynaecology.


Supportive, with concerns

"We have been reassured by the amendments and the emphasis on competition being focused exclusively for improving the quality of women's healthcare.

"There are still outstanding issues such as the development of women's health networks and national leadership. "


Royal College of Surgeons of England

Oversees standards of surgical practice and patient care.


Supportive, with concerns

"We do have some remaining concerns but will continue to work with parliament to improve the proposed legislation.

"The bill should be implemented without unnecessary delays, as otherwise procrastination, without an alternative cogent plan, will lead to further chaos and be to the detriment of patients."


Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Established in 1978. A professional and academic body overseeing training and practice in occupational medicine.


Concerns over bill

"The Faculty continues to work with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to seek changes in the Health and Social Care Bill.

"The key concerns are the threat to integrated patient care, the importance of the Secretary of State's responsibility to provide health care for all and the need to maintain education and training as part of a comprehensive health service."

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