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BOFAS Support for FIPO

08 May 2014

8th May 2014

Dear BOFAS Member,

RE: FIPO and BOFAS

BOFAS Council fully supports the action of FIPO in raising funds to legally challenge the recent Competition Commission report into independent practice (FIPO Letter).

We all believe that best clinical practice is being challenged by the actions of the private insurance companies who seek to undermine the relationships between general practitioners, patients and consultants by so called directional care packages. 

We are aware of the frustrations of patients who are unable to be seen by the consultants of their choice because of this approach.  We are also aware of episodes of harm coming to patients when they are referred inappropriately.  The general issue of patients having an informed choice in how their healthcare is delivered is pertinent to the provision of NHS services too.

Council was therefore of the view that contributing to FIPO's fund to challenge the findings of the Competition Commission was ultimately to the benefit of all patients and should be supported by the Society. 

We subsequently took independent advice as to whether or not BOFAS could donate to FIPO.  The advice given was that this would not comply with our Society's constitution. The function of BOFAS as laid out in our constitution is clear: it is to promote study, education and research into foot and ankle surgery for the benefit of patients but not otherwise.

As a consequence of this advice and further discussion, Council have withdrawn our offer of a society donation, but would strongly encourage individual members to donate, as the principles that lie behind FIPO's actions go to the heart of good clinical practice. A form to donate to FIPO can be found by following this link.

Yours sincerely, 

Stephen Bendall

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