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Pulse checker: ‘I never said general practice should get more funding’

Pulse checker: ‘I never said general practice should get more funding’

Pulse’s not-entirely-serious take on the month’s events

Hunt: ‘I never said general practice should get more funding’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has claimed his calls to increase funding for general practice were a series of misquotes.

Mr Hunt had seemed to be a passionate advocate for the profession ever since leaving the health secretary role, but now that he again has the power to act on his words, he has denied ever saying them.

Speaking to reporters, he said: ‘No, I never said we should invest more in general practice, I said we should “inspect more” in general practice. And I never chaired the health select committee – you’re thinking of Heremy Junt.’

The release of the committee’s report into the future of general practice had to be delayed after someone scribbled ‘not’ at the end of every recommendation that called for more resources.

And when asked if he would commit to more funding for general practice now he holds the purse strings, Mr Hunt shouted, ‘look over there’, and then ran off.

Patients should consult GPs ‘before making any dinner plans’

New guidance from NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency suggests patients contact their GP
before trying new recipes or doing their big shop.

Last month, Pulse revealed that official guidance on cold weather plans advised ‘look after [yourself] by… if possible, trying to move around at least once an hour, but speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans’.

Now, Pulse Checker can reveal that official guidelines on healthy eating advise people to call their GP if they are planning a particularly ambitious dish.

It says: ‘It’s good to try new recipes, but errors can lead to stomach problems or hunger, if the dish is inedible. So do speak to your GP if you’re feeling unsure or need tips on how to sauté pak choi. GPs are well placed to advise on your weekly shop, too.’

An NHSE spokesperson said: ‘GPs keep telling us how bored they are, so patients telling them about HIIT classes or beef wellington will help fill up their days.’

This month GPs have been blamed for…

…obesity. ‘Have GPs given up in the war on obesity? NHS adviser reveals most doctors “ignore” patients’ weight issues’, Daily Mail, 24 September
…stepping out of line. ‘Welcome news that GPs will be brought into line’, Daily Express editorial on Thérèse Coffey’s ‘plans’ for GPs, 21 September

We are no soft touch when it comes to flogging GPs

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting writes exclusively for Pulse Checker* on how Labour will clamp down on GPs, so long as the Mail agrees

I wrote in The Sun last month that the ‘something for nothing’ culture in general practice has to come to an end, and that we will go further than the Tories when it comes to waiting time targets.

I have passionately believed that patients deserve more from their GPs, ever since my PR team showed
me headlines in the Mail and Telegraph.

Patients are rightly sick of this self-serving GP culture of ‘avoiding burnout’ and ‘seeing their kids
before bedtime’. So we will end the Tories’ soft-touch approach, and we will ensure all patients can see a GP within an hour (although this may shorten depending on the results of our next focus group).

If Labour wins the next election, my ambition is to create a better NHS for patients, unless I am offered
a more high-profile role.

Tony Blair said in the 1990s that Labour would be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. I promise we will be tough on GPs and, er, tough on the causes of GPs (note: we’ll need to workshop this one).

Patients deserve better than this. And I deserve better than mere shadow health secretary.

*Lawyer’s note: not really

Thérèse Coffey’s five NHS commandments

  1. Share antibiotics: don’t complete your course, save some for friends
  2. Patients should be able to see GPs within two weeks (but please don’t ask us how)
  3. Smoke cigars: they are healthier than cigarettes as you smoke fewer of them
  4. In fact, drop antismoking plans altogether: no one wants to be told what to do