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NHS boss says reforms sidelined GPs

GPs and other NHS staff were ‘left to one side' by recent NHS reforms, NHS chief executive David Nicholson has admitted.

Speaking at the NHS Employers conference in Birmingham last week, Mr Nicholson said Government reforms were partly to blame for declining satisfaction levels among those who work for the NHS.

‘Somehow we left the staff to one side,' he told managers. ‘The way we set about doing the reforms inevitably shifted the staff slightly offside.'

‘If the staff do not feel part of the system, if they do not feel part of the mission, then it's hardly surprising that we've lost quite a lot of them,' he said.

But Mr Nicholson praised health secretary Alan Johnson for his ‘direct answers' when appearing before the health select committee in July, in contrast to Patricia Hewitt.

Mr Nicholson said Mr Johnson had given the committee a series of straight, direct answers on topics such as stroke care – and compared him favourably with his predecessor.

He said: ‘My guess is 12 months ago we'd have given them a lecture about practice-based commissioning and all the rest of it.'

When Mr Johnson was appointed health secretary in June this year, he was welcomed by GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman as ‘someone we can do business with".

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