Tories to trust GPs with greater autonomy and resources

GPs would be trusted with greater autonomy and resources under a Conservative government, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley has pledged.

Speaking at the second in a series of BMA political lectures in London on Tuesday evening, Mr Lansley told delegates that GPs' willingness to manage resources and design services was the ‘critical issue' of Conservative health policy.

‘Somewhere in the system there has to be a group of people we can trust. GPs are the only ones who can put those things together - making clinical decisions and managing resources,' he said.

‘The critical issue in our health policy is whether the 30,000-odd GPs are willing to take on this responsibility. I think, on balance, they do.'

Mr Lansley also pledged that the Conservatives would increase spending on public health, creating separate public health budgets for PCTs and even renaming the DoH the department of public health.

Mr Lansley was initially well received by the audience of BMA members. He said GPs were trusted by the public and he was working on new ways to allocate money to PCTs based on the burden of disease on each practice.

He eventually came under fire during questions from delegates after he spoke of his commitment to the private sector in the NHS.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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