Many doctors disappointed by rejected ACO campaign

A campaign group concerned over the potential motives of ACOs has had its case rejected by the High Court

Many healthcare professionals all over the UK are said to be disappointed after the High Court rejected a campaign against accountable care organisations (ACOs).

The campaign was put together by JR4NHS, only to be thrown out as the health service celebrated its 70th birthday.

JR4NHS was founded by a handful of doctors and backed by the likes of Professor Stephen Hawking, who believed that commercial companies running parts of the NHS was against the founding principles of the organisation. The concern of lawyers representing JR4NHS is that for-profit businesses could become ACOs.

The judge overseeing the case stated that the current ACO rules are lawful, and rejected the campaign after a two-day review.

JR4NHS will, however, have another chance to put forward its arguments during the official consultation.

The Department of Health and Social Care has also dismissed the campaign’s concerns.

In response to the news, a BMA spokesperson said that this rejection is in not in the best interest of healthcare professionals or patients:

“We are hugely disappointed that the judicial review has been dismissed. We believe the plans for accountable care organisations, as they stand, are absolutely not in the best interests of patients or clinical and support staff.

“ACO’s have the potential to have a far-reaching negative impact on patients, doctors and the wider NHS workforce because they lack clarity and accountability in their development, they present a risk of privatisation of NHS services and the BMA is far from convinced that the Government will provide the level of NHS funding and investment required for them to work.

“We note that the secretary of state for health and social care previously committed to holding a consultation and we hope that now gets underway without further delay. The BMA believes there is a need for genuine transparency and engagement in the consultation so that legitimate concerns about the creation of accountable care organisations can be heard and taken into consideration.”

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