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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Hewitt spared despite 'incoherence'

Patricia Hewitt's policies are 'incoherent' and she may be incompetent, but GPs decided it would be self-defeating to deliver a vote of no confidence in her.

LMC representatives concluded the Government as a whole should be held responsible for shortcomings in policy, not the Health Secretary personally.

Speaking against the no confidence motion, Dr Andrew Seymour of Gloucester LMC warned it would only serve to 'widen the gaps' between GPs and Government.

He said: 'The profession risks hindering next year's negotiations. The Health Secretary may or may not be incompetent, but our gripe should be against Government.'

But despite sparing the Health Secretary, GPs blasted the Government for dogmatic policymaking which had fragmented services and damaged patient care.

Dr Sarah Gray of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LMC highlighted 48-hour access targets, meddling in the availability of breast cancer 'wonder drug' Herceptin before it had been authorised for use, and the use of referral management centres as examples of non-evidence based policies.

Dr Mitch Garsin of Hillingdon LMC said the NHS was 'too important to be injured by career-orientated ministers'. He said: 'Let us hope that the NHS, as injured as it is, can go on to recover as quickly and completely as Wayne Rooney's metatarsal.'

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