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GP hard work ‘out of public eye’ says Hancock while pledging bureaucracy cut

GP hard work ‘out of public eye’ says Hancock while pledging bureaucracy cut

The health secretary has praised GPs’ hard work ‘away from the public eye’ and once again pledged to cut bureaucracy for practices.

It comes amid ongoing controversy over whether practices have been open to the public.

Speaking at the RCGP’s annual conference, Matt Hancock thanked virtual delegates for their ‘hard work’, ‘perseverance’ and ‘dedication’, including their ‘enormous effort’ to identify and support shielding patients.

He said: ‘GPs are the bedrock of the NHS and in the greatest public health emergency of our generation, our GPs were helping our health system to stand firm. 

‘Often this is away from the public eye and often it’s done quietly and in our communities.’

He added that the Government has done its ‘best’ to support GPs through providing IT equipment and funding such as the Covid support fund and will ‘strain every sinew to help you to help others this winter and beyond’. 

Mr Hancock said: ‘I know that this was a difficult time for our GPs but we did our best [and] made it our mission to give the best possible support to GPs across the country.’ 

The health secretary also used his address to reiterate promises to ‘bust bureaucracy’ in general practice, among the ‘positive changes’ brought about by the pandemic that will be taken forward.

The GP bureaucracy consultation – now closed – that he launched over the summer garnered ‘over 1,000 suggestions for where things can be improved’, he told delegates.

And the Government will now look through previous reports ‘that have been written but not acted on’ to see their recommendations, he added.

He said: ‘I know this has been talked about in the past and I know that there have been various reports on trying to bust bureaucracy, so what we’re doing is going back to all those reports that have been written but not acted on and picking up their recommendations too.’

Earlier this month, RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said general practice became  ‘a doable job’ again following a 28% decline in bureaucracy due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In July, the BMA and RCGP joined a Government working group on ‘renewal and recovery’ in general practice, set up to feed into the bureaucracy review promised in the 2020/21 GP contract.

But although the health secretary promised that NHS bureaucracy would ‘not be coming back’ in July, the CQC is restarting in-person GP practice inspections this month.

Last month, the BMA’s GP Committee warned that GPs will not be able to cope with a second wave of Covid-19 unless routine CQC inspections and QOF reporting is paused again, as happened during the first wave of the pandemic.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Kevlar Cardie 22 October, 2020 2:31 pm

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

– some dodgy locum called Kafka.

Patrufini Duffy 22 October, 2020 2:41 pm

Perennial soft talk at an RCGP branded talk. You will say what you need to say to appease work horses. Feed them the slogans, and buzz words. Why does it take so long and an incentivised working group to remove self – perpetuating known bureaucracy? They won’t send a questionnaire to all GPs to pick three specific things to remove/reduce? They’ll produce a 400 page RCGP document with no change, and continued Friends and Family smiley face uploads, you still making referrals for hospital Consultants and opticians and uploading arbitrary cpd certificates like you were still at kindergarten. I challenge the RCGP to reduce cpd to 25 hours. That in itself would retain some workforce, and instil TRUST.

Turn out The lights 23 October, 2020 7:11 am

Can hear the creep of the bureaucrats as they slither out of their toilet roll reinforced past and remote home working bunkers to tell the beleaguered foot soldiers of the new world created when we win the pandemic war with the virus with one last push.Lions lead by donkeys.Very soon the donkeys will have to get their hands dirts as the lions are an endangered species.

Anthony Entwistle 23 October, 2020 8:36 am

And yet at the same time we are doing; the flu campaign, then the extended flu campaign, and the nursing home DES (which everyone was against), hospitals are dumping work and not seeing patients, out patient waiting lists are non-existant, and next year it will be the Covid vaccine campaign. He says one thing but the really is the direct opposite, more work and bureaucracy!

John Graham Munro 23 October, 2020 9:57 am