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Government to struggle for full pathfinder coverage

By Gareth Iacobucci

Exclusive: The Government will struggle to reach its target of 100% coverage on its GP commissioning pathfinders, with particularly strong opposition to the NHS reforms among those not yet signed up, a Pulse survey reveals.

The Government last week announced 40 new pathfinders as it continued to spearhead its NHS reforms, taking the total up to 177 groups covering two-thirds of the population of England.

Ministers hailed the rollout as evidence that GPs were fully behind its commissioning reforms, with health secretary Andrew Lansley claiming there is ‘significant will' among GPs to take the reforms forward.

But Pulse's survey of 450 GPs found that just over a third of GPs who are not yet in a pathfinder support even the principle of GP commissioning, with much stronger opposition to plans to expand the role of the private sector.

Even among GPs who are in pathfinders, only 55% support even the principle of GP commissioning, and half have no confidence in Mr Lansley.

Dr Niall Bacon, a GP in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, is in an area still not signed up in a pathfinder and is one of many GPs resistant to the plans.

He said: ‘The reorganisation is unnecessary and a waste of public funds. I am adopting a response of passive resistance and encourage others to do the same.'

Government to struggle for full pathfinder coverage Pathfinder map

Click here for our map of all the pathfinder GP consortia

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