GPs are going the way of the dodo

What on earth is happening to private consultants’ referrers in the NHS? Legendary healthcare commentator Roy Lilley has big fears for the future of our health service’s GPs.

Fathoming what is happening in the NHS is a mug’s game.

Just as you think you have it figured, something else changes and you start again.

For over 40 years I’ve been in and around the NHS and I’ve lost count of the reorganisations, changes, modernisations and reforms.

No greater are the changes to primary care. From the very start, GPs and their small businesses have been a difficult fit in a nationalised industry.  

The problems go back to that fateful July in 1948, when Bevan negotiated the take-over of the existing healthcare infrastructure. GPs had, until then, been free to set up shop wherever they thought they could make a living.

Many doctors resisted the regulatory strictures of a national health service. The BMA ran a campaign claiming doctors would become little more than ‘household servants’ if the scheme went through.