David Cameron says that the Government is taking advantage of the pause to consider “real changes” to the Bill, but Saga says he needs look no further than recent attitudinal research that makes it crystal clear as to what is required.
“Older people relying on the NHS are waiting for both God and Andrew Lansley while this ‘pause’ is going on; unfortunately only one is certain,” said Emma Soames, Editor-at-Large of Saga Magazine.
“We surveyed 12,939 over 50s, and it’s clear that over 50s support radical reforms of the NHS.
“More than half (59%) of the twelve-thousand-plus over 50s surveyed would be happier if GPs would, in future, have more control over their long-term treatment and healthcare requirements. This figure increases to 66% among the over 70s, who were most supportive of the changes.
"A third (33%) of respondents to the Saga Populus poll thought that GPs would do better at finding them the best NHS treatment than the existing Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs).
"While listening is good, and taking time to carefully consider such radical change is sensible, the government shouldn't permit vested interests to derail the reforms, which aim to put patients and GPs at the heart of the new NHS.
"Older people have great faith in their GPs' commitment and ability to get the best possible health outcomes for them from the NHS. This principle should not be lost during this pause for further consultation,” said Emma Soames.
"There is obviously room for a broader role for health professionals other than just GPs. Integration of medical and social care is very important for future success."
For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.