This article from SkyNews casts real doubt on Cameron’s strategy….
Cameron’s ‘Cold Shoulder’ To Health Leaders
Last Updated 09:27 19/02/2012
Jane Dougall, Sky News reporter
David Cameron has been accused of shutting healthcare professionals out of talks on the coalition’s controversial NHS reforms.
It has emerged that major bodies critical of the proposals have not been invited to a Downing Street meeting to take place on Monday.
The British Medical Association (BMA), The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have all called for the Health and Social Care bill to be scrapped, but none of those organisations will attend.
The Bill has been so badly received that Monday’s meeting is being described as an emergency summit.
The BMA said it was “odd that major bodies representing health professionals weren’t included”.
As the Health Care Bill plans to give GPs control over £80bn of NHS budgets, the RCGP said it was “surprised” not to have been invited.
Despite having the single biggest workforce in the NHS, the RCN has also been excluded.
Its chief executive, Dr Peter Carter, told Sky News: “We don’t know why we haven’t been invited but we, like others, find it extraordinary because at the end of the day, it’s nurses, doctors, physios, GPs that actually keep the health service going.
“So whoever advised the Prime Minister that by excluding these groups would be the way forward, I would say they’ve given him poor advice…. Anyone who’s opposed the bill seems to have been excluded and we would say that’s not a very sensible way to move forward.”
Mr Cameron has called the meeting to discuss the implementation of the Health and Social Care Bill, which has yet to reach the statute book.
Downing Street would not disclose who had been invited to attend the meeting, saying only that it was a “range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups”.
A spokeswoman said it was being held “to discuss implementation of the health reforms with representatives from a range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups.
“This forms part of the Government’s on-going dialogue with health practitioners about the implementation of these reforms.”
Mr Cameron reaffirmed his support for the reforms last weekend after reports that three Tory Cabinet ministers were against the Bill and influential website Conservative Home urged him to drop it.
The Prime Minister insisted he was “at one” with his beleaguered Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
More than 142,000 people, including footballer Rio Ferdinand and TV star and author Stephen Fry, have signed an e-petition calling for the Bill to be dropped.