In an interview for the BBC Politics Show broadcast from the Pendleton Walk-in Centre in Salford, Barbara criticised the radical reforms proposed by the Government in its White Paper on the NHS.
The Pendleton Walk-in NHS Centre opened in March 2008 as one of a number of developments the Labour Government brought in to improve primary care and make it more accessible to patients.
The Politics Show featured an item which was sceptical about the plans now being put forward by the Coalition Government to give the role of NHS commissioning to family GPs and to scrap Primary Care Trusts.
“The Government’s plans for reforms to the NHS are costly, risky and could damage services. The Conservative’s planned re-organisation will cost £1.7 billion which should be going into patient care.
“I don’t believe the planned changes will reduce bureaucracy, it might double or triple it because we will have commissioning and administration happening at two or three GP consortia in Salford, instead of at the one location of the Primary Care Trust as at present.
“In a survey of GPs, two thirds said they did not welcome the proposed reforms and four-fifths said that GPs were not equipped to take over commissioning of NHS services. The NHS Chief Executive, David Nicholson, has said there is a significant risk of a “loss of focus on quality, financial and performance discipline as organisations and individuals go through change.
“This is very worrying, because quality problems in the NHS can mean treatments going wrong, patients being kept waiting or even avoidable deaths. It is time for the Government to think again about risking damage to the NHS through making these unnecessary changes.”