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GPs won’t gain by withholding treatment

Your editorial, 'Profit shares will devalue general practice', couldn't be further from the truth.

You seem to ignore the fact that our modernisation plans put quality and patients at the heart of the NHS.

You are wrong to suggest that GPs will be rewarded for withholding treatment. The first duty of doctors will always be to their patients and GPs will be accountable for the results they deliver. A consortium's commissioning budget must be used exclusively for patient care; these funds cannot be used for GP pay.

We will continue to work closely with health professionals to cut bureaucracy and give doctors the power and freedom to make the service more responsive to patient needs. Over 5,000 GP practices across the country have signed up to our plans and have started to implement them in order to give patients better care.

From Simon Burns, Minister of State for Health

Editor's note

Mr Burns addresses commissioning by GP consortia, but the subject of our editorial was the provision of care pathways by integrated health organisations. These schemes, under which entire care pathways are put out to tender, could allow GPs or private providers to benefit financially from reducing referrals – it is not clear that there would be a division within these organisations between the care budget and GP pay.