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Survey reveals damage to patient trust is major GP concern over NHS reforms



More than two thirds of GPs fear that their relationship with patients will be damaged by the NHS reforms, shows a BMA survey.

The BMA survey – one of the largest in recent years – garnered views on workload and morale from nearly 19,000 GPs and found a large majority said the intensity and complexity of their consultations had increased over the last five years.

Seven in ten GPs are concerned about conflicts of interest inherent in the forthcoming NHS reforms, both for the impact they could have on the patient-doctor relationship (68%) and because of their role as both the commissioners and providers of care (69%)

GPC chair and London GP Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘GPs do not want the trust patients put in them to be damaged by these reforms, yet this is exactly what they fear will happen.'

‘The Government must take heed and further revise its plans for the quality premium in particular, to avoid any potential damage to the doctor-patient relationship.'

Dr Buckman has also recorded a video message to the profession outlining the key results. Click here to view his message.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Nine out of ten GPs (88%) say the intensity of their consultations has increased in the last five years
  • Seventeen out of twenty GPs (84%) say the complexity of their consultations has increased in the last five years
  • Three quarters (75%) of GPs in England do not agree with the proposal in the Health and Social Care Bill to link practice income to the performance of their commissioning group
  • Seven in ten GPs are concerned about conflicts of interest inherent in the reforms, both for the impact they could have on the patient-doctor relationship (68%) and because of their role as both the commissioners and providers of care (69%)
  • Seventeen out of twenty (85%) do not believe that practice boundaries should be abolished.