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8 – David Cameron

The Prime Minister has had a lot more to do with GPs and the NHS generally than he would have reasonably expected when he formed the coalition Government last May.

While maintaining a public facade of not being fazed by the scale of Andrew Lansley´s proposed reforms, Mr Cameron has patently been trying to rein his health secretary in ever since the publication of the health white paper in July.

Soon after the reforms were announced, Downing Street referred them to Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin to ‘think them through', while at the same time insisting there was no ‘rowing back' and that Mr Cameron was ‘100% behind' the changes.

The furore that has followed the health bill's publication has forced the PM to intervene again, turning to NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson instead of Lansley for advice and putting his foot firmly on the brakes, finally announcing the unprecedented ‘listening pause' in the bill´s passage through Parliament last month.

Mr Cameron will no doubt be keeping a much closer eye on the NHS in general and GPs in particular in the months to come.