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Independents' Day

Hancock might not be a Hunt…

Editor’s blog

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jaimie kaffash 2 duo 580x271px

Matt Hancock gave his first interview to Pulse last week – and his first to a trade magazine since the publication of the long-term plan.

There was a lot that we have heard before – over-expectations around technology, a lack of details around how to ease the immediate pressure on GPs and a lack of real solutions to the workforce crisis.

But I did spot some positive signs. His emphasis on the problems with ‘last man standing’ rules, and – more importantly - announcement that he is in discussions with the Treasury over the changes to pensions tax rules in a bid to stop GPs retiring early is, to me, significant. Not because he will be successful: it will be a politically impossible sell that I predict would be opposed by the Treasury before it even gets off the ground, regardless of how sensible it is.

The reason it is positive is that – unlike his predecessor – it seems he is willing to listen to doctors and act, even when it risks a backlash from the public and the media, who would no doubt spin this as tax bribes for wealthy GPs.

Contrast this to Jeremy Hunt, who portrayed himself as the patient’s champion, willing to take on the profession by imposing contracts on GPs, picking a fight with junior doctors and telling GPs they were paying ‘penance’ for the 2004 contract.

It’s true he mellowed his style later towards the end of his tenure, but the fact Mr Hancock seems to be looking for a conciliatory relationship with the profession from the off can only be a good sign.

Of course, I may regret these words very quickly, but we can but hope.

Jaimie Kaffash is Editor of Pulse. You can follow him on Twitter @jkaffash

Readers' comments (5)

  • Usually the Bad Cop, Good Cop routine runs concurrently; all that has changed is that now it runs sequentially.

    To rise to the position of Secretary of State in any of governments departments requires a scheming nature, an element of Machiavellian psychopathy and an ability to anticipate what the listener(s) may want to hear. IDGAFs prediction for 2019- Hand(on)Cock will be no different.

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  • ‘some positive signs’ are only a breath of fresh air to the chronically gullible!

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    I was almost misled by your title ,’Hancock might not be a **nt’

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  • Vinci Ho

    On a serious tone.
    Remember ABC’s famous song ?
    ‘ When you judge the book by the cover , then you judge the look(of love) by the lover .’
    Things are never what they seem . Politicians only know they have to behave differently at different times in different places in history. This moment of time is unique historically, without any doubt. A government totally ‘kidnapped’ by a nation-split agenda concerning its identity/independence, can provide no tangible solutions to its domestic problems. The Health Secretary , loyally defending his PM(he was the one responding to the media’s strident questions immediately after the historic defeat of a government in House of Commons two days ago), will obviously have to speak like the most understanding and empathetic politician on earth ,especially about issues under his watch. The fact is this government needs us the most to gate-keep and just hold the infrastructure of NHS. What else would you expect him to say ?

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  • No, but Hunt is definitely a (Han)cock

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