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Incessant political squabbling will kill off GP enthusiasm

There is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for real change in this NHS upheaval by harnessing the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of ordinary frontline GPs to make a real difference to their patients' care.

Incessant political squabbling will kill this enthusiasm – the reason that GPs were asked to lead the change is that we are patient-centred and able to assess and manage risk in a way that no other player in this game can.

Yes, there are major flaws in the health bill: the excessive powers of the National Commissioning Board and the directive that Monitor must foster competition, which is not always positive.

However, to allow all the players to get their fingers in the pie will lead back to the reinvention of the dead hand of bureaucracy, cause dissociation of the best GPs and lead many others to sabotage a new system overtly or covertly.

We need the courage of conviction that GPs can lead the health service. We need to resist all the political shenanigans going on round this change and we need to oppose specifically those parts of the bill which are potentially damaging.

From Dr Peter Swinyard, Swindon - Chair, Family Doctor Association - via