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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)

  • IM NOT A GP BUT A PRACTICE MANAGER SERIOUSLY WORRIED ABOUT WHERE THIS IS ALL GOING TO LEAD AND MY POOR OVER WORKED AND STRESSED GP PARTNERS. SURELY THE TIME HAS COME FOR RCGP/BMA/ WHOM EVER TO SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH???

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  • Just as long as Jezzer isn't responsible eh?

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  • As an ex PCT medical director this gives me a strong sense of deja vu. Since leaving clincal management, life has become SO much better. I wouldn't want to patronise current CCG GP members by giving advice. You know what you need to do.

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  • When the government passed the mantle of commissioning over to GPs it was very obvious the reason behind this was for it all to be our fault when shit hit fan. I am surprised that anyone is surprised by this - and no, I do not think for one minute hospital failure is GP fault.

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  • The bureaucrats wanted to measure things so they could tell the World - and especially the idiots in Parliament and the Daily Wail - that they were doing a good job. They got a group of Ivory Tower thinkers to come up with a list. They realised tat the "real world" would not buy into this idea unless they associated that all important, principle-overriding factor: money. BMA contract 2004 & QOF. It has cost a bucket and not delivered measurable outcomes. It took the focus of General Practice away from the patient and moved it to the numbers. The patients are not happy. The politicians are not happy. They spent far more than they could afford. The system is now broken and they wish to shift the blame. Jeez, what a surprize they came up with Commissioning? But they won't let go of QOF - and nor will providers. Westminster, we have a problem...

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  • A message to Mr. Hunt.. As the incoming chair of Stafford CCG the story is much more complex. Please accept my invitation to meet with us and get the GP side.

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