The NHS; goodbye

I don’t know if anyone saw the Panorama programme about the heads of schools being scammed by buying computers and being bankrupted by an unscrupulous firm. They were conned into paying up to £140,000 for a £4000 computer. This was because the head was now in charge of purchasing items for the school and they are completely inexperienced with dealing with this.

Now doctors are being put in charge of their budgets. You wait; will not be long before some of them are duped.

Goodbye the lovely NHS; yes it had it’s faults and yes it was a black hole as far as finance goes. Putting doctors in charge of their budgets will lead to disaster there is no doubt. They are trained to look after the human body not finance books.


Lol! Thats why they employ people like me! Second thoughts, I don’t really want to take the blame for 18 GP’s making blunders, think I might just refuse to have anything to do with that part of it…I’ll just stick to doing the VAT and stuff, it’s safer.


Hi Sue,

No it’s not your part that’s wrong. If a doctor wants to buy say drugs what safeguards with no PCT is there to stop them buying crap; what safeguards are there of running up a say £20,000 bill with some dubious company and then that company going bust.

There’s probably loads of other ways but I’m not knowledgeable of their procedures.


Hi, I sometimes feel like saying goodbye to the neuro dept at my local hospital. But for different reasons to your`s.

luv Pollx

What safeguards are there currently in place to stop a PCT running up a £20,000 bill or buying inappropriate drugs?

If there are such safeguards in place, then these safeguards can just be given to the GPs. The GPs will have to employ people with the appropriate skills to look after the financial aspects of their practices, many of whom will be performing similar functions with the PCTs at the moment.

Putting GPs in charge of their own budgets will mean that they will have some choice over where their patients are treated, based on criteria such as cost, length of waiting list and patient preference. There is far too much of a cosy relationship between some PCTs and Hospital Trusts, whereby they agree a maximum number of referrals to hospital per month, and referral to hospital is delayed if the Hospital Trust is in danger of going over budget. I have had personal experience of this.

Yes of course funds are limited, and decisions have to be made as to what can and cannot be done on the NHS. But this is no different to the current situation, or the situation which has existed ever since the NHS was founded.

None of the founding principles of the NHS are being changed by this reform. Treatment will still be free at the point of delivery to the patient.

I am absolutely deadset against GPs running the budgets. We have to have GPs who are clinically focused and objective in their referrals. If they know it will cost them £X and that they personally will benefit from keeping expenditure down, some will start making decisions based on finances - and those decisions will not be in the patient’s best interests.

It is hard enough for some newbies to get the right referrals and tests - move the decisions earlier in the chain and a lot more will not even get the benefit of expert opinion.

We all know that most GPs know squat about neurology. Giving them responsibility over this budget is like giving the odd job man responsibility for the architect’s budget. It’s stupid.

And I bet it’s the same for other specialities too.

Karen x


If you think that way you deserve being conned. But the NI I paid in when I was working I don’t want to go into some plonkers pocket to pay for his large mansion and villa in Spain.

The millions of pounds schools have been conned out of will only be transferred to GPs to be deceived. PCTs have not gone bankrupt because they have people whose job it is to query any dubious expenditure made by the GP.

Like the Police can’t Police themselves; banks can’t; or should not be allowed to police themselves; newspapers should not police themselves. Therefore GPs should not police themselves.

Gawd knows the answer as I will admit the NHS perhaps needs a shakeup but giving GPs freedom to buy what they want leaves them open to being duped.

Anyone who believes that GPs are currently clinically focused and objective in their referrals, and that decisions regarding referrals under the current system are not made for financial reasons is the one that is being conned.

Referrals are routinely delayed in order to manage waiting lists.

I have personal experience of this when a GP told me one that “…there is a ban on referrals to < Name Of Hospital Trust> because they can’t meet their financial targets…”

Of course when I queried this the hospital denied this, but then they would say that wouldn’t they?

People with less urgent conditions that can be treated quickly are prioritised ahead of those with more complex and difficult to treat conditions because this makes the figures look good

Of course GPs know “squat all” about neurology. But they should know when a patient has symptoms of a neurological condition and when it is appropriate to refer them to a neurologist. If they have control over their budget they can choose where and when to send their patient without having to refer the decision to a PCT.

Hi George, I am going to bump this thread if I find some concrete evidence. (Maybe I should be a mole!) Sometimes public hysteria accompanies these decisions and until we know the true picture we shouldn’t really worry. I agree with you there should be a ‘middle man’ but if you look at the blunders the PCT’s have made wasting huge amounts of money, not just the Choose and Book , and then reverting back to the ‘old way’ it beggars belief.Like you say, I think the system is going to leave itself wide open to GP’s being duped and god forbid, some unscrupulous GP’s duping the system. Maybe we should be looking for a new type of middle man…

Saying all that George, I agree with all that you say!


Talking of being conned, who was it that said before the election “there will be no top down reorganisation of the NHS”?