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Editor’s blog Friday 24 September 2010: BMA set to oppose Lansley's pro-privatisation White Paper

Following the BMA's recent guidance on GP commissioning consortia (which, worryingly, seems to confuse commissioning with referral), Pulse's Ian Quinn reports that the BMA seems set to oppose the privatising 'any willing provider' aspects of Andrew Lansley's NHS White Paper, 'Equity And Excellence'.

The story reports that "BMA Council passed a motion at its meeting earlier this week which reads: ‘The Council has significant concern about the direction of travel of the NHS reforms with respect to commercialisation of the NHS as provided in the white paper’."

However, Quinn also reports a contrasting (and unsurprisingly anonymous) view that the anti-privatisation voices were a "'core group of die-hards' ...  (who) aid this was all about commercialisation of the NHS, and that this was the hidden agenda. But they were always going to be suspicious of anything that came out of a Tory government. One person who spoke summed up the mood – that it’s not a question of whether, it’s a question of how".

As we have mentioned before, some of this is a fresh tile in the mosaic of Things That Are Not Surprising.

There remains a new GP contract to be negotiated. There is utter uncertainty over the management budget that will be available to GP commissioning consortia.

Which is not to mention the small issue of how many consortia; how based (geographically or philosophically); how corporate they will force their members to be, using what sanctions for non-compliance; and how often people will be able to choose their commissioner via their choice of GP.

There is a view within sections of the BMA that the organisation is at its best when fighting a Tory government. Council will have to start deciding whether this view prevails - and how much of a Tory government they think this one is.

And they will have to decide soon.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.