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NHS medical chief calls for more GP boardroom clout

By Ian Quinn

The NHS medical director has backed the RCGP's call for an urgent review of GP leadership roles within trusts.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said he fully backed RCGP chair Professor Steve Field, who yesterday told Pulse trusts should have a duty to have a GP medical director on their board.

It followed a Pulse investigation which showed GPs are being frozen out of key decisions at many PCTs across the country.

‘I believe, and this is my personal opinion, that every PCT should have a GP medical director on their board,' said Professor Keogh, who added that he believed GPs were better than hospital consultants at coming up with ideas to drive improvements and efficiencies in the NHS at times of economic crisis.

‘I think GPs are generally speaking better [than hospital doctors],' he said. ‘Doctors have a moral responsibility.'

Pulse's investigation found that many trusts are still squeezing GPs out of decision making. Information obtained from 45 PCTs show that on average a third of management is made up of clinical appointments, with two thirds coming from a non-clinical background.

However, the situation gets far more extreme when considering the figure for GPs, with an average of just eight GPs advising each PCT, most of those on a part-time basis.

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