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Most GPs praise standard of care

While a sizeable minority of GPs had serious concerns over their local hospital, the majority told Pulse's survey that they were happy to recommend local secondary care services to their patients.

Dr Paul Richards, a GP in Wickford, Essex, said: ‘I am a patient myself at Basildon. Care so far has been very good.'

Other respondents said that care at their local hospitals was generally of a ‘very high standard' but there remained frustrations around accountability.

Dr Alex Barlow, a GP in Stockton-on-Tees, said: ‘I am always impressed when I deal directly with named specialists and juniors. I lose confidence when my patients are passed between consultants, or the care is delivered by an unnamed specialist.'

One Merseyside GP said: ‘I have recently attended my local hospital for a cancer diagnosis. I received an efficient, speedy service with a histological diagnosis within an hour of arrival.

‘Any wait is difficult for a patient – but the NHS for me is very reasonable.'

Dr Terry O'Connor, a GP in Preston, Lancashire, said: ‘Of course we recommend local hospitals. There isn't an accessible alternative.'