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Independents' Day

GPs should move away from 'mentality' of clocking off at 7pm, says Hunt

The health secretary has called for a change in the mentality of GPs, and a move away from ‘gatekeepers’ who think it’s not their problem to deal with patients after ‘the surgery closes at 7 o’clock’.

After launching his ‘new deal’ for general practice in London today, in an off-camera Q&A, Jeremy Hunt called for GPs to take ‘responsibility for the care of their patients’.

He said that there needed to be a change in the mentality that GPs think that it is ‘not my problem any more’ when they finish surgery at 7pm.  

Relating a personal story from his father’s end-of-life care, he told of an almost ‘comical situation’ where he had been the person coordinating care between district and Macmillan nurses, and saw this as a key area for integration with general practice.

Mr Hunt continued: ‘I think we need to move away from the idea of GPs as gatekeepers or as signposts. I want GPs to take responsibility for the care of their patients, to be accountable for the care of their patients.

‘To say, actually “I am the person who will make sure you get the care you need”, not just “I am the person who’s going to give you help and advice” – important though it is.’

He said that he ‘recognised this is something you can’t do on your own’, adding: ‘We need to look at breaking down those barriers and [inaudible] between different parts of out-of-hospital care.

However, Mr Hunt added: ‘It is also about a change in mentality by the GPs, so they actually don’t think when the surgery closes at seven o’clock in the evening “it’s not my problem anymore”.’


Readers' comments (177)

  • Great, it can be my problem 24h per day.

    That's going to help recruitment. Idiot.

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  • RIP general practice 1948-2015

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  • RIP NHS 1948-2015

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  • I'm looking for a way out of this madness.

    ST1 and already decided that GP aint for me. At least not here in the UK.

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  • will somebody tell this idiot to shut up and stop talking nonsense. Does he expect me to be around 24/7. How many hours he want me to work? 40 ? 60 ? 80 ? 100 ? . If he wants that he better find money for more GP and then come to GP and say I have got enough money to employ all the GP needed and now can i have GP available 24/7? Mr Hunt. You can't drive Rolls Royce when you can afford only ford Fiesta. That's the reality which this F......... politician will never admit. Wake up to reality Mr Hunt. This country can no longer afford free for all NHS.

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  • Will all the GP partners/LMC call for vote to see how many GP are willing to resign and hand contract back to NHSE.? (by the way I am single handed GP partner now since last 8 months,but ready to hand my resignation) cant take any more nonsense from this politician worth 2 pennies.

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  • it seems that society wants the best (straight A students) with oodles of compassion who are willing to take the most financial risk (most expensive uni course) and the most resilient individuals (watch as you get no sympathy but are ridiculed if you fail as a medical student, doctor, specialist or have the gall to get ill or pregnant) and take the most risks for dealing with complex cases 24 hours a day AND wants them to work for a pay rate less than a plumber. I know there are a few martyrs out there who will do it - but i'm not one of them. Time to go private.

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  • realistically for GPs to take on this risk and responsibility there needs to be more pay - we are talking about 250k + a year to do it,

    call me what you like - i'm just being realistic

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  • I would be quite happy to integrate the care between district nurses and macmillan nurses for MR Hunts end of life care! even if I had to do it after 7.00 pm !!!

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  • There was a time when GPs DID take responsibility for our patients 24 hours a day. Then successive governments and the leaders of our profession made it unsustainable to do so in the face of alternative models of out of hours care, and in doing so ripped the balls off our profession. We can't go back to working day and night in a climate in which all the bucks stop with us and in which demand is as high as it is.

    I must admit, when I saw the headline, I thought, "Yeah, he gets it. Mr Hunt recognises that GPs can't safely work those long days and he's going to support us in finishing at 5pm like normal people get to do." Disappointed again!

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