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Field: ‘Cameron would make a great GP’

Exclusive Prime Minister David Cameron ‘would make a great GP', according to the man tasked with leading the second phase of the Government's listening exercise on the health bill.

Speaking exclusively to Pulse on his way back from a joint visit with Mr Cameron to the home of a patient with COPD, former RCGP chair Professor Steve Field said the Prime Minister had ‘empathy and commitment to improve patient care.'

‘I think David Cameron would make a great GP. He has the capacity to listen and a great empathy, as well as the drive and commitment to improve patient care.'

‘But clearly both he and Andrew Lansley are politicians and want to be advised. The feedback they have given to me is that by speaking to as many people as possible we can help them.'

'What they don't know is not important, it's what they don't know they don't know that we need to tell them.'

Professor Field spoke to Pulse as the Government announced the second phase of the listening exercise, focusing on education and training, public health, the information strategy and integrated care.

He told Pulse he has already targeted other high-profile GPs to oversee the themes of the listening exercise, including BMA president and CQC advisor Professor David Haslam, and Manchester GP and RCGP commissioning lead Dr Robert Varnam.

He explained: ‘Professor Haslam has ideas on how we can use information to improve the quality of care.'

'Information and transparency is the future. When we publish data on prescribing and share that we can understand better how to improve our prescribing. But we're not going to be scared of challenging the DH. They have spent a lot of money on kit, but we're more into how we can use it.'

‘The focus on integrated care came from the first phase because a lot of GPs asked ‘'what does this mean?" ‘I believe we have to make different care services better designed for patients. We need to break down the barriers between different types of care. There's a lot for GPs to do on this, things like supporting personal budgets for patients can have more control over their care.'

‘Education and training is a continuation of work started by the RCGP and the BMA. It's important we make sure there's some emphasis on training the right people in the right place under the new governance structures. We need to make sure it's not just dominated by hospitals. We need a culture shift, frankly.'

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