I picked up a copy of the mammoth Health and Social Care Bill yesterday afternoon, but have yet to digest its 353 pages what with Parliamentary Voting and Constituency Bill grinding on through much of the night.  However, I thought Paul Corrigan put his finger on the fundamental flaw in its central proposal:

According to the Government GPs aren’t up to buying flu vaccines, but they are up to buying everything else!

I might have missed something overnight, but I expected to wake up this morning to hear the Government extolling the capacity of GPs to commission the nation’s health care. It is after all their policy.

Instead I wake up to hear the Health Protection Agency saying why, for a variety of very plausible reasons, GPs do not have the capacity to buy the nation’s flu vaccine – and why they are almost certainly going to have their duty to buy the nations flu vaccine taken away. In future it will be done by the DH.

There are certainly good arguments for this, but presumably the Government also believes that it’s a good idea for doctors with much better local knowledge to buy the vaccine and not faceless bureaucrats at the DH.

The arguments for GP commissioning of NHS care are the same arguments in favour of GPs commissioning the flu vaccine.

The arguments against GP commissioning of NHS care are the same arguments against GPs commissioning the flu vaccine.

Somehow the Government finds itself arguing against itself on the very morning when the press is full of the Bill.

To say the least this is very odd.”

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