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Doctors wary over NHS reform plans

1 February 2011

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The Government’s NHS reform plans have proved unpopular with doctors, with six out of 10 disagreeing with the proposals, a survey for the Royal College of GPs has revealed.

The poll highlights how many GPs are unconvinced that patient care will improve under the plans, which will see them take responsibility for around £80 billion of NHS funds.

Some 70% believe the reforms will not improve the relationship between hospital consultants and GPs, while there are severe question marks over whether they will reduce red tape in the NHS.

More than 70% of GPs said they also “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” that the NHS would be improved by plans to create a larger market in healthcare, using private companies.

The poll, of more than 1,800 GPs, found 52% disagreed or strongly disagreed that the reforms would create a patient-led NHS.

Some 43% said the reforms would not improve health outcomes – such as tackling cancer or deaths from heart disease – with another 27% neither agreeing or disagreeing.

Overall, 32% disagreed with the direction of the reforms, 29% strongly disagreed and another 15% neither agreed or disagreed.

Only one in five (20%) agreed with the direction of the plans, and only 4% strongly agreed.

RCGP chairman Clare Gerada said: “These results highlight the continuing concerns many of our members have about the proposals outlined in the Health Bill.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Royal College of GPs

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

The market has failed before. GP fundholding created winners and losers and unbalanced the service. GP’s cherry picked services and spent savings on improving their premises etc. Many hospitals had huge deficits and some still do. Be ready for the breakup of the NHS as we currently know it. Local services will disappear.

David Beresford, Lincoln