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NHS "scaremongering" must stop, leaders say

NHS "scaremongering" must stop, leaders say


Commissioning leaders have warned of "persistent scaremongering which is detrimental to patient care. 

NHS Clinical Commissioners said attempts to use the NHS as a political pawn undermine hardworking staff while needlessly worring patients and ignoring the generally strong performance of the health service overall.

The body which represents 75% of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England, also said CCGs are working hard to improve local services and must be given the space to succeed.

Dr Steve Kell, co-chair of the Leadership Group, NHS Clinical Commissioners said: "During 2013, there has been persistent scaremongering and criticism of the NHS in the media and by politicians which is not helpful.

“We know the health service needs to change. However, there is a natural tendency to focus on the negative. But what we rarely hear about is when things go well, and the NHS does lots of things extremely well.

“Let’s start 2014 on a more positive note. We feel at the moment the NHS is being used as a political pawn which undermines the thousands of hardworking staff and gives a distorted view to patients who needlessly worry about the quality of the service they might receive.

"Clinical commissioners are working hard to improve local services by making responsible, clinically led decisions in partnership with GPs, patients, and providers. We are already seeing significant progress in transparency, clinical outcomes and patient empowerment.” 

Dr Amanda Doyle, also a co-chair of the Leadership Group, NHS Clinical Commissioners, added:  "It is essential that clinical commissioners are given the space to succeed.  While the recent national debates regarding ambulances and urgent care services are important, these must be balanced fairly with what is happening locally.  Clinicians should be free to work with patients to determine what local services are needed.

"Clinically led decision making, based upon local engagement and local patient need, is essential if we are to meet the challenges facing the NHS.  Everyone needs to stop all the negativity  and work together so that we continue to provide the  excellent service patients want and need."


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