Pavilion Health Today
Supporting healthcare professionals to deliver the best patient care

BMA says government has ‘wrong priorities’ for NHS following King’s Speech

A leading BMA spokesperson says the government “has the wrong priorities for the NHS” following the King’s Speech this morning (7th November).

A leading BMA spokesperson says the government “has the wrong priorities for the NHS” following the King’s Speech this morning (7th November).

The King’s Speech, which marks the start of the parliamentary year, laid out the government’s plans for the months ahead, including its plans for the NHS.

While health leaders have welcomed the government’s commitment to introducing a phased smoking ban, they say the notable absence of a new and reformed Mental Health Act is “deeply disappointing” and that anti-strike legislation is “harsh” and presents an “attack on workers’ rights.”

Mental health reform ‘kicked into the long grass’

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation said there is only one “standout policy” mentioned in the speech, and that is the reforms to create a smokefree generation.

“Beyond that, there is little in this King’s Speech for the NHS, and leaders will be exasperated that mental health reform has again been kicked into the long grass,” he said.

This comes after King Charles made no mention of reforming outdated mental health laws, despite pressure from mental health charities to do so.

“Parts of the current outdated act from 1983 not only make the lives of those experiencing a mental health crisis much harder but worsen health inequalities,” Mr Taylor said.

“While there may well be record levels of investment in mental health services, with over 1.4m on waiting lists, these services are a long way from where they need to be. Reform is long overdue, and this is another missed opportunity.”

“Harsh” anti-strike legislation

Dr Emma Runswick, BMA deputy chair of council, said the speech shows that the government “has the wrong priorities for the NHS”.

“Instead of presenting ways to support and expand the medical workforce it has chosen to repress it and devalue it,” she said.

The BMA are particularly concerned about the “harsh anti-strike legislation” presented in this King’s Speech, and the Association says it will do its utmost to ensure that “the freedom to partake in industrial action is protected for all health workers.”

Dr Runswick is now encouraging all doctors to respond to the government’s consultation on this Bill to tell them “how misguided the current plans are.”

Dr Runswick also says plans to make the General Medical Council become the professional regulation body for physician associates and anaesthesia associates are “shortsighted” and “ignore the concerns of the medical profession”.

“We are deeply concerned that these plans will create further confusion for patients between the roles of doctors and those who do not have medical degree and are not qualified doctors,” she said.

Lack of policies which address climate change

As well as failing to introduce reforms to the current Mental Health Act, the RCGP says it is “concerning” that the government made no mention on banning conversion therapy.

“The College has long-supported [banning conversation therapy] through our signatory of an MOU with more than 25 other health organisations,” said Professor Kamila Hawthorne.

The RCGP says it is also “disappointing” to hear the government’s support for the future licensing of new oil and gas fields at a time when the climate emergency is affecting public health.

The College is now urging the government to address these concerns, introduce measures to enhance patient safety, and launch a fully-funded national retention scheme in its forthcoming budget.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more ...

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Verified by MonsterInsights