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GPs go forth

Hancock’s comments betray the truth behind networks

Editor’s blog

I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Hancock doesn’t understand the furore surrounding his comments in Parliament. After all, saying the Government should try and get value for money when it comes to the NHS seems pretty uncontroversial.

But this completely misunderstands the state of general practice. First, general practice is already incredibly efficient and it is bordering on insulting to suggest it is not value for money.

But second, the point of networks should be to save a profession that is in the midst of a crisis. In this context, value for money should be judged on whether general practice stays afloat, not whether care homes are getting weekly visits.

Value for money should be judged on whether general practice stays afloat

If networks are able to stabilise general practice – and I am dubious about whether they can – this will take years. Once we have reduced waiting times, made sure GPs aren’t working 13 hours a day, practices are only closing because they are moving to far better premises and GP numbers are actually rising, then we can start talking about offering extra services.

But Mr Hancock’s comments seem to suggest that the truth behind networks is they are another way of shoving more services on to GPs. As if we were ever in doubt.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Well what do you expect from someone who thinks improving login access will save the NHS.

    It's quite simple really. Mr Hancock does not hold the competencies required to run a health care system. This should be treated the same way an incompetent doctor is.

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  • What do you expect when the Government is made of career arseholes whose only obvious interest is self interest.

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  • Painful comments as £10bn of trust debts are wiped out in a stroke. One can only imagine the narratives being fed to him that provoked such a statement.

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  • And of course, as a comment on another thread points out, this pales into insignificance next to the 160 thousand million pounds being poured into shiny new train service to shave f*ck all of the Birmingham to London journey... which apprently is far more worthy than the health of the populace. Better that Crapita strike a few more invalids off benefits, and GPs see an extra few patients and break under the strain...

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  • Good comment: I hope it reaches policy level ears.

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  • David Banner

    Many of us were accused of paranoia and cynicism when we ranted that PCNs were forced on the profession to hasten the demise of Partnerships. Now I don’t speak to a single GP that isn’t convinced that this is the case.
    Herded like frightened sheep into PCN pens then shipped to the slaughterhouse.

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  • David Banner:

    They are using a common defense mechanism known as denial

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  • Agree wholeheartedly with: 'If networks are able to stabilise general practice – and I am dubious about whether they can – this will take years.'

    There is little to suggest that PCNs offer any meaningful solutions to the GP crisis. Many of us suspect that NHSE is trying to subvert GP into a new model, larger scale, salaried, private provider - with the pretence that they are trying to 'shore up the partnership model'. This might be a last ditch token attempt to say 'we tried to sustain partnerships, but...'. Pretending to be trying to help secure partnerships, all the while paving the way for large-scale mergers, and a sell out. Would be genius if it wasn't so painfully obvious. And our representatives in the BMA haven't the balls, or the will, to do anything about it.

    This will end up being worse for doctors, worse for patients, cost a fortune, increase health inequalities, and almost certainly diminish the health of the population.

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  • Vinci Ho

    To be honest , I am ‘grateful’ that most of us have now woken up and can see the true reality and faces of those in the hierarchy.
    Of course , from day one , I was a PCN sceptic calling it a Trojan Horse but still ended up being the stupid f*** to take on a CD position (considering the big picture of my predecessor resigned for personal predicament with nobody in the PCN willing to step up )

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