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PM: 'It is not true this Government has had an anti-GP agenda'

Exclusive Prime Minister David Cameron has hit back at claims that his Government has been ‘anti-GP’ in an exclusive Q&A with Pulse.

Asked how he responds to GPs who are under the impression that this Government has run a concerted campaign to disparage GPs, Mr Cameron says this ‘is simply not true’.

The response comes after the health secretary placed the blame for A&E pressures on the 2004 GP contract, announced proposals to ‘name and shame’ GPs for for missing signs of cancer and hundreds of practices were labelled as ‘risky’ under the CQC’s flawed ‘intelligent monitoring’ data.

But, despite these examples, Mr Cameron maintained the argument that the Health and Social Care Act 2012 reforms ‘put GPs at the heart’ of the Government’s work on the NHS.

He highlighted the ‘named GP’ plan as something which has ‘strengthened the role’ of GPs and said he was ‘working with the profession’ to crack the problem of general practice needing modernisation and efficiency improvements.

Denying GPs have been disparaged, Mr Cameron said: ‘I think if you look at what we’ve done over the last five years, it is simply not true. GPs have been at the heart of much of our work on the NHS.’

He said that the NHS reforms put ‘decision-making, and lot of spending power, into the hands of GPs’.

Mr Cameron added: ‘We have looked to strengthen the role of GPs in how we provide care, with the introduction of the named-GP scheme, so the most vulnerable people get personal care from someone they know.

‘And finally, we put a big emphasis on bringing forward more GPs so as a country we have the capacity to provide the sort of care we all want, with over 1,500 more working or training during this Parliament and more to come in the next.’

The Q&A also put the Prime Minister on the spot with regards to dropping GP training numbers and how he can promise seven-day access across the UK when the profession is already struggling to meet patient needs in core hours.

But Mr Cameron responded: ‘In modern Britain, where people have busy lives balancing work and family commitments, I think it is right that we look at making sure people are able to see their GP at a time that suits them.’

The Challenge Fund gives GPs the opportunity to look at how to provide a more flexible and efficient service to their patients, which in turn should help deal with issues like waiting times.’

He refused to commit to fund the additional £8bn in funding to deliver the reforms outlined by NHS England chief executive, but pointed out that the recent Budget had delivered an additional £2bn in funding for the NHS.

Mr Cameron further reiterated that the Goverment ‘expects to train thousands of GPs every year from 2016 onwards’ including ‘incentives to encourage medical trainees to move into primary care’.

Click here to read the full Q&A with the Prime Minister

Pulse Live 2015 Scotland plug

Readers' comments (61)

  • Dishonest politicians makes a dishonest statements. Shocking.

    Good news though, I'm nearly ready to publish my study which shows a link between bear defaecation and arboreal areas.

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  • Either he really doesn't comprehend the problems or he thinks we are gullible.

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  • I think his nose is longer in the photograph although it maybe the angle its taken from!

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  • : ‘In modern Britain, where people have busy lives balancing work and family commitments, I think it is right that we look at making sure people are able to see their GP at a time that suits them.’

    Wants rather than needs again. Simply not the money or indeed the doctors to do this. Also giving GPs the responsibility at the same time as massively reducing the budget was hardly empowering!

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  • Their Government has pledged to give away £1 billion of freebies for premises improvement and all the GP businesses should be ever grateful for this Government.

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  • As usual, he doesn't answer the questions put to him.

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  • This man has "disgraced" himself repeatedly. His "secret friends" at THE DAILY MAIL have beeb aggressively bullying GPs for years and his "enforcer" Jeremy "The Crusher" Hunt has been crushing the life-blood out of General Practice.

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  • Unfortunately, David Cameron's boys have created this elite club called NHSE and lost control over it's shenanigans. If Cameron were to say that this was not the case, then he would be accepting that the whole mayhem is his deliberate doing.
    I almost sympathise with these politicians at times because they really don't have a clue what they are doing. Eton doesn't give you common sense, it just gives you entry into club of mutual adoration and may land you a comfy job in Westminster or NHSE.

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  • to be fair to him ALL political parties hate GPs.

    but ultimately we are to blame for our situation as we accept the abuse. There are 60 million + patients and only 40,000 GPs. Do you think GPs would starve if we all went private?

    in fact do your own research and discover there are more solicitors, estate agents than GPs.

    the bleedin hearts have effectively blocked any mass exit so individuals are having to make their own decisions and exit plans.

    give us a debate on alternative models and see recruitment and retention rise - will it ever happen- nope.

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  • 10:17am. I fully agree. Our GP leaders do not want any alternate models because their own monopoly will be at risk. They instead try to mislead other GPs by moaning about politicians and Daily mail. Our GP leaders (and of course our dear GP partners) never even bother to talk about alternative models.

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