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Independents' Day

GPs underfunded as 'penance' for signing 2004 contract, says Hunt

The health secretary has said the 2004 GMS contract was to blame for the subsequent lack of investment in general practice. 

He said: 'Labour signed a disastrous contract in 2003 and since then, in penance really, the NHS has not really wanted to put extra money into general practice and it been has starved of resources progressively, with increases in hospital doctors but not increases in primary care doctors.’

At the same event the health secretary said that transforming GP services to make them do more work with people in residential care would make a ‘massive’ difference to the efficiency of the NHS.

Speaking at a Conservative Party Conference 2015 session, hosted by The Times newspaper, Jeremy Hunt said it was ’absolutely critical to bring social care and the NHS together, and that GPs’ sharing records and transforming care of residential home patients was crucial. 

The latest comments follow Mr Hunt’s assertion that GPs under the new contract announced by the Prime Minister yesterday would still have to record QOF work, but would not receive funding for it.

Answering a question on the lack of social care services available for patients to be discharged to, Mr Hunt said: ‘What we can’t do is say “what happens in the social care system has no relation to what happens in the NHS”. We basically have to bring them together in this Parliament that’s an absolutely critical question, and that’s very, very challenging for local authorities whose budget is not protected.’

‘One of the simple things we can do – that would make a massive difference – is to share health records across the health and social care system. Another thing that would make a massive difference is to transform GP services so they’re doing more to help people in residential care homes.’

Mr Hunt did not elaborate on these comments, but it follows Care England - the largest representative for the care home industry - saying that care homes will stop paying GP practices retainer fees to provide extra care to nursing home residents, in a long-running battle over locally agreed enhanced services





Readers' comments (21)

  • In penance???

    Not content to offer people dreadful pay, far worse than what they already have, now we have to punish people for what they used to have.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • . ....?

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  • the man has no shame

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  • Cameron - you admit lack of investment in general practice. So what are you going to do about it?
    Incidentally, in 2004 we gave up £ 6000 to give up OOH. There are 6000 OOH hours in a year. So we were responsible for a 24/7/365 service for £1/ hr! That's what I call a disastrous contract!

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  • PENANCE?! Is Mr Hunt trying to tell us that he's the Second Coming of Christ? That would explain the Apocalypse that's going on in the NHS.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Wonderful. White is twisted to Black, Black is glorified as White:
    O'Brien said,
    ''You are a slow learner, Winston."
    "How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
    "Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane. 1984

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  • He also said the reason that general practice has been underfunded was as ’penance’ for the 2004 GMS contract.

    err are there no lawyers out there? is this not an abuse of power being freely admitted?

    Paul C

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Or, to put it another way, "We've been getting our own back on the GPs".

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  • Vinci Ho

    I think the FOV220,000 virus Agent H carrying , has gone systemic , there will be more symptoms and signs.

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  • Just Your Average Joe

    Care Home patients should not be registered with GPs - instead by local trusts - who manage them with outreach teams with specialist nurses supported by all the consultant teams.

    They can have a rotating policy - moving patients from hospital into homes once well, and taking in the sick instead so using the capacity more freely - n knowledge the patients will continue to receive care and even IV antibiotics in the community etc - unlike virtual wards where patients received virtually no care (if in fact any).

    Now that would be joined up care and thinking.

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