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GPs to be held accountable for any future 'Mid-Staffs', says health secretary

GP commissioners will be held accountable for the failure of hospital services in the case of another Mid Staffs-style scandal, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

Mr Hunt made the statement in an answer to a series of questions directed to himself and NHS England chief executive David Nicholson by the House of Commons Health Committee surrounding the failures of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the more recent reports into the deaths of babies at Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.

He was asked by one MP: ‘Do you see that CCGs and GPs will have responsiblity in the future because of course they are commissioning that care for those bodies?’

Mr Hunt replied: ‘I do. Commissioners do have a very important role but also need independent assessment of how good providers are. It is not always clear who is reponsible for sorting out problems when they are identified.’

The health secretary was also put on the spot by MPs over ‘low morale’ in the NHS stemming from his recent criticisms of GPs as well an a accusation that the NHS was ‘coasting’.

He responded: ‘I think the NHS is doing very well. And to correct you, I have not talked about a coasting NHS, but a coasting hospital management.

‘I have huge respect for GPs. What I have criticised is the GP contract, which I don’t think gets the most out of people who are working extremely hard.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • Time to withdraw enmass from commissioning

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  • Yes, the way to 'get the most out of people who are working extremely hard' is to come up with useful stuff like GPPAQ questionnaires.

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  • He has contradicted himself. If we are working hard then why criticise the GP contract ?

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  • Vinci Ho

    Mmmmm
    So NHS England ,Monitor, DoH and Secretary of State will not be held accountable for 'things like these' because GP commissioners are to be condemned . No wonder Agent Hunt had huge respect for GPs.......

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  • Resistance is futile.We have already been assimilated.

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  • Here we go! The real point of commissioning is coming out. This on top of criminal responsibility for the mug nominated for CQC. As locality clinical lead and that nominated mug I question the wisdom of remaining as such. .

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  • Re above.

    I am surprised it has taken you so long!

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  • I was involved in the first incarnation of the commissioning model in the 90s a manager cornered me and asked me why the budget for prescribing was £15 million over budget and implied it was my fault,I explained about the pharmaceutical pricing regime between the apbi and the DOH about doctors professional integrity and prescribing and how as a rural county are funding per head was lower than the rest of the country,he looked at me and I could see scapegoat written in his eyes what makes you think anything has changed,I left and have not been involved this time

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  • So what the f*** is CQC all about??

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  • I'm surprised it took DoH this long to come out with this. It is obvious this has always been their goal and I can't believe the nativity of my colleagues who thought otherwise.

    I hope all the CCG leaders read this and understand what they are engaging in

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