GP morale 'clearly low', admits health secretary

Health secretary Andy Burnham has admitted morale among GPs is 'clearly low', in an exclusive interview with GP newspaper.

The health secretary said the DoH will not ‘mandate whole new things on GPs that they will resent', but warned opening up patient choice would be the next stage of reform.

Despite low approval for Labour among GPs, Mr Burnham pointed to a 2009 poll for GP newspaper that found 63% of the profession thought primary care had improved over the decade.

‘A healthy majority of GPs say that services have improved significantly, and I take great comfort in that,' said Mr Burnham.

The health secretary, now six months into his post, said the relationship between the DoH and GPs had been ‘fraught' at times, but that reforms had delivered one of the best primary care systems in the world.

He sees the treatment of long-term conditions as an area that will undergo ‘huge change', as traditionally hospital-based services and screening is moved into GP practices.

Read this week's edition of GP newspaper (29 January) to discover Labour's plans for the future of primary care

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW

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