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Independents' Day

Dr Peter Swinyard: 'Hunt seems to be waging war on GPs'

Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the Family Doctor Association, says the health secretary may live to regret his ‘boorish’ behaviour against GPs.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt seems to be waging war on GPs. But GPs have been around much longer than him and he may live to regret this boorish behaviour. Does he want his predecessor Andrew Lansley’s reforms to fail? If senior GPs disengage and retire, what next?

It is also curious to blame us for something we are not contracted to do. Will he next blame nurses for not doing operations?

I think he wants a return to out of hours on the cheap, which is what we used to do. I have last week asked a senior civil servant to tell him how demoralising his actions are.

A return to GPs being responsible for out of hours is basically impossible. The day job has become so much more demanding that we cannot work around the clock. Also being tired is no longer acceptable as an excuse for medical mistakes.

GP recruitment is already at crisis levels, and this will not help.

Come back Mr Lansley, all (well most) is forgiven!


Dr Peter Swinyard is chair of the Family Doctor Association and a GP in Swindon


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Readers' comments (4)

  • Usual political bile - of course he has missed the point about public education and nuking walk in centres which have created such instant demand and put general practice back 30 years. What is his answer to a patient who walks past the surgery brimming with available appointments to a UCC? Patients should have 2 choices - A and E who should turn people away if not actually ill or GP land in core hours. Leave OOH alone or fund it properly - cretin has no idea about cultural shift in perception and usage especially from out eastern bloc friends

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  • I think it has been clear from the start that the coalition government in general and Hunt in particular will only be happy when general practice as we know it has been destroyed and the NHS reduced to a backup system/brand name for procedures in which the private sector is not interested and for people who can't afford private insurance.

    This health secretary seems to take delight in attacking primary care, especially GPs, his pronouncements seemingly plucked from the air and without any substance or evidence at all. We all know that he co-wrote a book in which he said, in effect, that the NHS was a waste of space.

    I just wish there were a) a means of getting all this across to the public and b) some real tough opposition in parliament. Trouble is, Blair's labour party did much to lay the groundwork for the current destruction. We have to keep fighting.

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  • Andrew Lansley had terrible PR but knew everything worth knowing about the NHS. His "successor" was parachuted in for political reasons and is very much NOT a success. Cameron should bite the bullet and bring back the expert!!!

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  • We behave like patsies rather than a noble profession. At the end of the day, we can choose to stay or leave. We can and MUST define safe hours and patients seen per day. We do NOT have to take this rubbish. We can and MUST not tolerate bullying. It is against the law. When are we going to stand up as a profession ?

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