The delivery of sustainability and transformation plans for the NHS in the North East will likely change the landscape of the delivery of care.
We welcomed a consultation with NHS England at a recent meeting of the BMA North East Regional Council, which was a chance to voice our concerns over how these plans would be implemented.
There has been growing concern over large-scale reorganisation, including the introduction of Accountable Care Organisations, and we must ensure there is accountability and that concerns are addressed over privatisation and how it will impact those working in the medical profession.
Changes to areas such as emergency medicine must be clinician-led to ensure that patient care remains consistent.
There is concern that the transference of care from the hospital sector to general practice may not be realistic or easily achievable without extra support for GPs.
While integration could be a good thing for different work streams, we need to be certain that reconfiguration will be done with patient care at the forefront, rather than acting predominantly as a vehicle for savings.
Consultation must continue with the health profession and the public at each stage of these plans to ensure the best outcome for patient care.
Dr George Rae
Regional Council Chairman