The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has become the latest professional organisation to call on the government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill.
This is despite the body attending David Cameron’s health summit on Monday. Most opponents of the bill were not invited to the event.
The royal college’s decision follows a survey of its members which saw four-fifths of respondents vote for it to call for the “outright withdrawal”of the troubled legislation, rather than continue to push for amendments.
The RCPCH surveyed all UK members via an anonymous online survey, between 14 February and 21 February.
There were 1,492 valid votes – representing only a 14.5 per cent turnout. Of those, 21 per cent voted to continue with amending the bill versus 79 per cent who voted to call for its withdrawal.
RCPCH president Terence Stephenson said: “Despite revisions and assurances from government, there remains widespread and deep concern amongst not only our members, but also the wider health profession and public, about the bill’s impact on patient care.
“The RCPCH has never at any stage supported the bill but we have consistently engaged with government to try and push for amendments to ensure the best outcomes for children. Although we have secured some changes – such as the children’s forum – it’s our membership’s views that these do not go far enough.”
Professor Stephenson added: “Pushing the bill through is creating disaffection amongst the very people – the clinicians – who will be delivering these changes on the ground when the reality is that there are areas of reform where the healthcare profession are in agreement, most obviously the principle of clinically led commissioning and improving how services are delivered.”