BMA Welsh Secretary Dr Richard Lewis said: “We welcome the Minister’s statement but are concerned that it raises more questions than actual answers. We need greater detail and clarification from the Minister and time to consult fully with our members in order to be in a position to give a detailed response to todays statement.”
On the National Advisory board
“BMA Cymru Wales offers a cautious welcome. BMA Cymru Wales would much rather a fully arms-length approach, however at least with this arrangement the buck will stop firmly with the Minister, of which there can be no doubt.”
On a separate Delivery Board
“It would be inadvisable for any Minister not to ensure that frontline clinicians and professional organisations like the BMA are fully represented. The NHS and patients rely on the support of doctors for delivery of care, and we seek a categoric assurance from the Minister our representation is assured.”
On primary care
“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to pursue a health service led by preventative, primary and community health services. The vice-chairs of the new organisations who will be made responsible for community, primary and mental health services appears to be a creative solution. Of course, we await the detailed work to be undertaken by Dr Chris Jones, chair of the RCT LHB who’s been charged with development of a new primary and community health care strategy.”
On the 7 new health bodies
“We await the exact details. Whilst the detail remains unavailable it puts into question the ability of the Minister to deliver these changes by April 2009. We need to get these changes right.”
On a Unified Public Health organisation.
“BMA Cymru Wales welcomes the creation of a Unified Public Health organisation with executive responsibility for public health being vested with the seven NHS Local Bodies and at a national level. This will ensure a powerful voice to the National Health – as well as continued partnerships with local government.
“We believe that the local Director of Public Health position is of paramount importance in planning health services on the basis of need and also in assuring the protection of the health of the public – in line with the duties of the NHS.
“However, the BMA seeks urgent clarification as to the content and constitution of the new public health body and more importantly that it will remain part of the NHS.”