Lib Dem members survey: 61% say no to key Coalition health reform

by Stephen Tall on April 26, 2011

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results this week.

Lib Dems reject key health reform measure 61%-24%

LDV asked: The government are currently planning to reform the NHS. Currently health services are commissioned by local Health Trusts. Under the government’s plans local Health Trusts would be abolished, and health services would instead be commissioned by consortiums made up of groups of local GPs. From what you have read or heard about these plans, do you support or oppose these proposals?

4% – Strongly support
20% – Support
Total support = 24%
32% – Oppose
29% – Strongly oppose
Total oppose = 61%
15% – Don’t know / No opinion

A pretty overwhelming vote, then, in opposition to one of the key reforms of the Coalition’s health white paper — and certainly in line with the party’s Spring conference verdict. (Though it’s only fair to note that 1-in-4 members in our survey back the Coalition reforms, a higher level than among voting conference representatives.)

Here are a selection of your comments:

Whilst a pretty principle, I don’t see how this will reduce the extreme bureaucracy and expense of the current system, and also the lack of local accountability – why can’t more responsibility for health be given to local authorities?

I support the principle of clinicians having oversight of the allocation of NHS resources on behalf of their patients. The Bill’s proposals don’t implement that very well.

I don’t agree with private companies bidding to provide health services.

Reform is needed, but not this badly thought through and poorly presented mess. Lansley needs to go.

Don’t go far enough, there should be access charges and health insurance options so patients control the market

The Torys did damage to the NHS last time. GPs in my area are useless, how on earth could they do more than they do now.

I don’t think there was nearly enough consultation in general and with those with professional expertise in particular.

I don’t object to the principle of clinical commissioning, but I am concerned at the current proposals, very much along the standard lines (accountability, conflict of interests, etc)

Idea sound, needs trialling first to iron our glitches. Around here those employed in the system are simply changing hats and collecting redundancy money on the way.

Whilst I agree with devolution of NHS purchasing down to local levels, are GPs really in the business of buying in or contracting all of these services? Or are they going to have to take on the former PCT staff who’ve just been expensively sacked?

I don’t oppose in principle, but it needs more explanation, more piloting, and reassurance about the risk of a private company takeover of commissioning.

  • Almost 1,300 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. Over 530 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 18th and 24th April.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll