Critical doctors 'locked out' of Downing Street NHS meeting

Prime Minister takes charge of controversial reforms and hosts implementation summit

David Cameron will today signal his determination to press ahead
with health reforms as he stages a Downing Street summit from which
critics of the plans have been excluded.

The Prime Minister, who has taken personal charge of implementing the overhaul, will make clear he believes the preparations for the changes are too advanced to be halted and will argue that patients can already see improvements where preparations have been begun.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has faced renewed calls to scrap the Health and Social Care Bill from organisations representing doctors and nurses, as well as intense speculation he could be reshuffled out of his job.

Liberal Democrat critics will try to raise the issue in an emergency motion to their spring conference next month and disquiet over the reforms has even surfaced around the Cabinet table.

Last night, Government sources said this afternoon's session was designed to examine in detail how the reforms could be rolled out rather than to discuss amending or abandoning them.

Downing Street said the guest list comprised a "range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups", thought to include the NHS Confederation and groups of family doctors who back the shake-up.

However, the British Medical Association, the Royal Colleges representing GPs, nursing and midwives and health unions said they had not been invited to the discussion with Mr Cameron and Mr Lansley. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, said: "The NHS means too much to too many people for the Government to play this dangerous game of divide and rule.

"People have strong and sincerely-held views about the risks to the NHS from the Government's re-organisation. They deserve a hearing – not to have the door of Downing Street shut in their faces."

Peter Carter, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "We don't know why we haven't been invited but we, like others, find it extraordinary because at the end of the day, it is nurses, doctors, physios, GPs that actually keep the health service going."

Mr Cameron will today insist patients are already seeing improvements where clinical commissioning groups have been established. He will point to evidence that emergency hospital admissions have fallen year-on-year for the first time as family doctors have been more central in shaping patient care.

Mr Lansley said: "We have always been clear patients will benefit from putting power in the hands of frontline doctors and nurses.

"By starting to do just that, we are seeing a positive change in the way our NHS is responding to rising pressures."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Admin / Studio Manager

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability Adviser - Welwyn Garden City / Hendon

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Employability within this compa...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer - UI / UX Design

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Designer is required to j...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager

£30000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation based in Pea...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable