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National targets for GPs set to fall

The number of targets imposed on GPs and PCTs by the Department of Health will fall dramatically by 2008, the head of the NHS has claimed.

Chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp said he wants PCTs to have more freedom from national targets and an end to trusts' 'dependency culture'.

Sir Nigel, speaking at the NHS Alliance conference in Bournemouth, said he wanted to see a reverse of the current situation and the majority of targets to be set locally by 2008.

He added: 'Let's end the dependency culture where you spend your time looking upwards. GPs have the greatest autonomy yet spend more time asking for permission and we need to move on from that.'

His comments come after the department announced GPs' performance against the quality framework would be published, raising fears of GP league tables.

NHS Alliance chair Dr Michael Dixon gave the

Government a one-year ultimatum to 'end centralism' and listen more to 'the voice of

involved primary care professionals'.

Dr Dixon, a GP in Collum-pton, Devon, added: 'They have a year to stop patronising PCTs and calling them "emergent, immature" organisations.'

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