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A faulty production line

Hunt sets out 'mission' to implement 'step change' in GP services

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he willl be on a ‘mission’ to improve GP services in the next Parliament.

In his first NHS announcement since his reappointment to health secretary yesterday, Mr Hunt said there would be a ‘step change’ in services offered through GP practices so that old and vulnerable patients would get care of the ‘highest standard’.

Citing ‘dramatic improvements’ to hospital care over the last few years in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal, Mr Hunt said his ‘biggest priority’ now was to make the same improvements to care outside hospitals.

Mr Hunt said: ‘My biggest priority now is to transform care outside hospitals - just as we have dramatically improved the quality of care inside hospitals in the last few years. All of us want every single older and vulnerable person to be treated with the highest standards of care - so we need a step change in services offered through GP surgeries, community care and social care.

‘That is my mission, and I know it is the mission of the whole NHS too.’

It comes as Prime Minister David Cameron has announced two more appointments to the Department of Health in his first all-Conservative Government.

Ben Gummer, the MP for Ipswich, was named Parliamentary under-secretary of State at the Department of Health while Alistair Burt, the MP for North East Bedfordshire, is a new minister of State at the Department of Health.

Mr Gummer was previously the private secretary to education secretary Nicky Morgan. He is the nephew of House of Lords Conservative representative Lord Chadlington.

Mr Burt, who practiced as a solicitor in London in the 1980s, has held two previous ministerial posts. He was minister for disabled people between 1995 and 1997 and Parliamentary under-secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 2010 and 2013. He was also assistant chief whip and deputy Conservative Party chairman between 2008 and 2010.

More ministerial appointments are expected.

Click here to read Mr Hunt’s statement in full

Readers' comments (20)

  • I wonder if at any point he will seek and listen to the views of GPs actually doing the work who can tell him what can be done to improve services.........no, I don't. Not really.

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  • In the words of Blackadder:

    "Oh, God"

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  • Harry Longman

    It is a fine ambition. The question is how.

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  • Is it just me.... or is Agent Hunt's nose 10 feet longer now.....

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  • Thank god...Hunt has been appointed health scretary
    It's all change in the health service then .... things can only get better ...think I might apply for a partnership after all

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  • To be fair to Jeremy he is trying to do a difficult job with a limited resource- his brain.

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  • Why on earth did the country vote for this man. Its not like any of his future plans are a surprise. - run down general practice !

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  • Could part of his plan be to replace GPs with Independent Prescribers - paramedics, radiologists & dieticians?
    This Consultation ends on 22nd May
    https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/independent-prescribing-paramedics
    On p.6 of the full consultation document:" The vision to develop 999 ambulance services into community-based mobile urgent treatment services requires highly skilled paramedics with the ability to ‘see and treat’ more patients at the scene."
    So is the 'mission' to replace medical care of the frail elderly with 'skilled paramedics' - and thus solve the problem of not having any GPs?

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  • "just as we have dramatically improved the quality of care inside hospitals in the last few years" .... what ???

    ... but now I understand - after some period of time he'll tell the public that general practice has "dramatically improved" thanks to his stewardship and everyone except him will know that it hasn't.

    On a second matter - to question Mr Hunt's intelligence as some contributors have done is to my mind foolish. We may disagree with him and he may be in our eyes misinformed, but we don't know his motivations and having seen him in action he's certainly no fool - he also wields an awful lot of power!

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  • He is a clever multi millionaire. No really. We are the thick ones - a list based Contract with ever increasing demand for less and less pay, we deserve all we get for sticking to an old outmoded idea that suits Mr Clever Clogs to the ground into which he will run us - until some day we will wise up - there are few doctors and we can pretty much charge a reasonable fee per item. Until such a day Mr Hunt has us by the throat and lower down as well, because he can dump everything on to us for free.

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