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GP confidence in clinician-led commissioning drops

10 April 2012

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The majority of GPs do not believe clinician-led commissioning will lead to a ‘noticeable’ improvement for patients, a survey suggests.

A poll carried out by ComRes on behalf of the BBC showed 83% of the 814 GPs surveyed predict an increase in the rationing of care by CCGs because of financial pressures.

Only 12% of GPs agreed the new commissioning arrangements will improve care, with 55% disagreeing and a further 33% who were undecided.

A similar poll by the BBC in September 2010 showed 23% of GPs believed the development of CCGs would result in care improvements – indicating a drop in confidence.

A mammoth 87% also said they expect the 2012 Health Act will lead to private companies performing a bigger role within the NHS.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said the poll results represent a “clear collapse in confidence in the new system by the GPs that will be running it”.

Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs committee, told the BBC the findings reflected what doctors had been telling him directly.

“Increasingly, GPs are worrying that they will be blamed for making the hard decisions that may need to be made in order to meet the £20bn savings target set by the government,” he said.

“If those who will have to deliver the latest health reforms are unconvinced and reluctant, the government should take notice of what they say.”