Health changes are a positive step

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CHANGES planned in the way health services are run has been heralded as a positive move by a Fenland doctor.

Dr Simon Hambling, from Doddington, who has become the first chairman of NHS Cambridgeshire’s first GP Commissioning Senate, believes the move to give GPs control over health budgets will lead to improvements to services.

Speaking after the launch of the Senate, Dr Hambling said doctors were better placed to decide what services are needed and added it could even mean an increase in locally based services.

Cambridgeshire is leading the way in the government’s plans to transfer control of health budgets from Primary Care Trusts (PCT) to GPs.

Dr Hambling said the Senate will help smooth that transition giving doctors a greater say in ensuring decisions made by NHS Cambridgeshire (the local PCT) over the next two years are clinically led.

The Senate is made up of eight Cambridgeshire GPs representing the different areas of the county.

The Senate will allow a coordinated approach to the way decisions are made on service provision and will enable doctors to tailor services to meet the needs of their patients.

Dr Hambling said this could see more services being re-introduced to Fenland at sites such as Doddington Hospital and the North Cambs Hospital at Wisbech, which could only benefit patients.

Dr Simon Hambling was adamant the changes were not, as has been said nationally, a first step towards privatising the NHS.

He said: “We are committed to the NHS, we believe in the NHS. The NHS is actually the best way to do things. But over the years there has been a loss of clinical guidance in the way it is run, these changes will help address that.”