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Independents' Day

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)

  • The only "mission" that this man has is to "terrorise" GPs, use "smoke and mirrors" with the general public and then get out before the "car crash happens".
    What a Hunt......Mission Impossible.

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  • Mr Gummer - from education ? Burt - a lawyer ? Where is Dr Poulter ? He is medically qualified and seemed sympathetic to Primary Care . Surely it would be preferable to have a doctor in the dept of Health ?

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  • Vinci Ho

    I think you know what we call you on this platform , agent.

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  • Sounds like more of the same - preventing old-age admissions to hospital and keeping older people well in the community. How is this going to be possible while there have been so many reductions in social services. ICPs were proved not to prevent admissions and their new replacement WISKs seem virtually the same. One can not totally prevent pneumonia, UTIs, falls, CCF, etc.. Rapid response nursing teams can only do so much. Perhaps if one had 24 hour mobile USS, radiology, phlebotomy / labs, ECG, plaster technicians, on call hospital doctors, but then I think the cost would be equal to a hospital admission. All emergency surgery would still have to go to hospital.

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  • Dr Dan was probably terminated because he was sympathetic to general practice . Shame , he seemed a lot more intelligent than Jeremy - who always appears as a bit of chump.

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  • This is not doing anything for morale!

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  • Typical MP lack of humility. As if one person can 'improve GP services' by making it their 'mission'.

    GPs are more than capable of offering high quality services. Just trust us and pay us - offer a contract for what you want doing, without the reporting and admin burden that crushes the original intent.

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  • If anyone remembers yes minister it is a bad idea to give a ministerial portfolio to anyone that knows anything about it !

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  • Perhaps it is different elsewhere. I have seen a massive deterioration in our local hospital services in the last 5 years. In fact I worry whenever I have to admit anyone. I wouldn't want to see any of my friends or relatives treated in our local hospital but I would have no issues recommending any of my neighbouring surgeries.
    Perhaps it is much better in Hunt's area?

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  • My mission is to demolish a profession in a generation. ‘...and I know it is the mission of the whole NHS too.’ Please do not mock or fill our mouths with your words or hidden incentive/plans Mr Hunt. The profession has a background in healthcare and in making sacrifices for real human beings on the ground floor. You could at least respect that.

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