I was hoping I wasn’t going to have to write this…

Most of the discussion around the White Paper and now the Health and Social Care Bill has centred around budgets going to GP Consortia and related topics.

One policy has had hardly any discussion, at least I have seen none. This is the question of people being able to choose the GP or GP practice of their choice, anywhere in England. I was hoping they were going to drop this policy, once they had examined it in detail. But no, it is still there:

GPs will also be more directly accountable to patients, who will be able to choose any GP practice they like, regardless of where they live.

When I first heard this idea floated almost 2 years ago, I thought there was no way it would be taken further than the brainstorming phase of policy development. As a policy, it appears like a parody: ‘let’s do something quite daft, let’s do something which will really f*ck things up’. And yet, there it is.

I understand that to the general public this sounds like a good idea, what’s not to like about it? But most people I have spoken to about this have realised the problems with it after a few minutes. The policy makers should know better.

The Chilcot Inquiry is currently taking its evidence: how were the decisions taken that led the UK to invade Iraq?

Of course it would never happen, but I wish in the future, should this ‘choose your GP anywhere in England’ policy be implemented, that there would be an Inquiry into the way that this policy was dreamt up and sold to the English (not British) public.

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