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MINISTER RESPONDS TO BMA SURVEY ON COMMUNITY CARE

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John Bowis, Parliamentary Secretary at the Department of Health, today replied to a BMA survey on the community car...
John Bowis, Parliamentary Secretary at the Department of Health, today replied to a BMA survey on the community care reforms.

Mr Bowis said: 'Doctors are able to make a valuable contribution to the way community care works and we will look at their survey. We have our own extensive and objective programme of monitoring. It is stiff early days to judge the success of the reforms but our monitoring suggests that overall a good start has been made. None of the general horror stories put about by scaremongers have happened. Waiting lists for care are not building up and large numbers of clients are not being shuffled around the country.

'I am surprised that Dr Alistair Riddell did not raise the need for an 'urgent review' when we discussed the findings of his survey only last week. He made it clear to me then that the BMA thought the community care reforms are going reasonably well.

'I did raise my concern with the BMA about the lack of involvement of some GPs and hospital doctors. A minority seem to be reluctant to act as equal partners in community care teams. I am sure the BMA will want to encourage doctors to take a growing role in community care.'

Last month Dr Mawhinney, Minister for Health, announced that more than £1.2 billion will be available in 1994-95 for local authorities to spend on the reforms. The total this year is £565 million.
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