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GPs ‘concerned over commissioning’

21 June 2011

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There is a high level of concern among GPs over their ability to take on a commissioning role as part of the NHS reforms, a study has revealed.

The government-ordered survey found that just 21% believe they have the capacity to conduct commissioning, while almost 72% disagree. When questioned over whether they have the relevant skills to take on the role, only a quarter said they believe they did, while two-thirds disagreed.

More than 5,000 NHS workers were questioned between 2008 and early 2011 in a poll about their attitudes to the health service, which was conducted before the government’s “listening exercise” on the NHS reforms.

It found that GPs are the most likely to think that patient care had worsened recently and would get worse in the next few years.

But the report claimed that “other staff views were catching up”, with around half of NHS workers thinking that patient care will suffer in the future.

One part of the survey, carried out between November and January this year, found 49% think care will deteriorate, compared with 34% in summer 2009.

Around four-fifths of those questioned between November and January are satisfied with the service the NHS provides for patients in their local area, up from 69% in spring 2008.

But the proportion of staff who think local patient care has improved in the previous 12 months was just 23%, down from the 33% recorded in autumn 2008.

Only 37% agree that “efficiency savings” will be reinvested in frontline services, as promised by the government. Just 31% think it is possible to increase quality while cutting costs.

Copyright © Press Association 2011