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BBC devotes day of coverage to NHS reform

The BMA’s hopes and concerns for the future of the NHS have been aired as part of the BBC’s Changing NHS day.

Today’s day of radio and TV coverage aims to explain how changes to the NHS might affect patients.

BMA representatives talked about the impact of financial pressures, and raised concerns about NHS reforms in England.

BMA council chair Mark Porter was interviewed on funding in the NHS on BBC1’s News at Ten last night.

Today’s coverage started with a live two-hour stint of multiple radio interviews on regional breakfast shows between 7am and 9am.

BMA GPs committee deputy chair Richard Vautrey took part in eight radio interviews for BBC Radio Kent, Leeds, Berkshire, Lancashire, Stoke, Nottingham, Sheffield and Somerset.

He voiced the BMA's concerns about a number of issues, including government emphasis on competition between NHS bodies, the reorganisation of the NHS, and the impact of CCGs (clinical commissioning groups) on GPs.

Difficult decisions

He said: ‘Whoever manages the NHS, there will have to be difficult decisions to be made about what services can be provided. It will be vital to involve patients in these decisions.’

BMA Junior Doctors Committee chair Tom Dolphin was interviewed for BBC West Midlands, Swindon and Shropshire.

He explained the BMA’s concerns about the unstoppable progress of the Health and Social Care Act, GP engagement in CCGs, and funding for the NHS.

GPC chair Laurence Buckman appeared on the BBC News channel this afternoon to take part in a debate with Michael Dixon of the NHS Alliance on the role of GPs in commissioning and the Health and Social Care Act.

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We’re running a number of news stories, features and discussions throughout the day across TV, radio and the BBC News website to discuss the challenges facing the NHS and what these may mean for the public.’