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Gold, incentives and meh

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)

  • My parents are both 86 and still live at home. They have been registered with the same practice for 55 years and are very happy with their GP. Why should they lose that relationship, continuity and care if they move into a care home?
    And why should someone lose any right to a choice of GP just because they are elderly and need care?
    Neman, your suggestion simply treats them as objects that have to have their care dictated in the " best" way for the NHS.
    My mum would have a thing or two to say about your suggestion!

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  • My understanding is prior to 2004 GPs were chronically underfunded and the service was on its knees with a recruitment crisis (sounds familiar?) So the narrative that 2004 was a huge win for GPs is in fact nonsense. In fact, it saddled GPs to an open-ended contract with no protection from the government imposing unilateral changes to suit the political agenda of the day. The only way we can survive this is to remove the profession from direct government interference and contract with patients instead.

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  • Forgive me Jeremy for I have sinned. It's been 11 years since my last confession when I voted for a new contract because the old one was sucking the life out of me. I have squandered all the money the government gave me and sat on my arse doing nothing between the hours of 630pm and 8am week days and all day Saturday and Sunday.
    Please allow me to do penance by working in the evenings as I have no time in the day as I'm seeing 40+ patients a day. Cut my pay and take away my lump sum and tax relief. Add a few more years to my pensionable age, please, as I now feel cleansed by the work. I beg you to allow me to work Saturdays and Sundays so I can be absolved of my sins against the government and my utter greed and comptempt for the tax payer.
    My family will be so happy to see me content once again.

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  • "In Penance.." !!!
    We have benn underfunded in penance. Burn out , early retirement, reduced resources for patients - in penance!!
    Hunt has made the most self damaging and revealing political comment ever.

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  • He also said that the population need to learn to work like the Chinese!
    The man is showing his true colours.

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  • Russell Thorpe

    The mask slips

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  • But for Chaand, Vautrey and the supine lot at GPC, we could walk away from the penance. At least Buckman did ballot and win.
    GPC, please ballot if we wish to stay for more penance.

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  • No matter what patients say, this lot are determined to get their hands on patients medical records!

    I think patients would be shocked if they knew how much of their personal information was already being shared!

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  • Penance? Really???????
    So why havent the press picked up on this that the government are deliberately destroying gps and the NHS due to their spitefulness over a previous negociation which they had no part in. You could not make this stuff up really.

    So he has finally admitted to personally targeting gps. This cannot be legally acceptable. Also he has in effect claimed responsibility for punishing gps lives so making his own department which he is responsible for fail, and this has actually been done deliberately. How can this possibly be at all acceptable????
    I think many patients would love to hear this as he has in effect claimed responsibility for a worsening GP service and thereby deliberately destroying the NHS.

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  • Care homes should have their own doctors, so often the staff are too lazy to take an abled bodied person to the GP and home visits are very time consuming for any GP.

    I see the NHS are still keen to get their hands on patients records ... but not fro the reason they give us!

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