60% of GPs oppose direction of NHS reforms, RCGP poll finds

More than 60% of GPs disagree with the general direction of the government's NHS reform programme, according to an RCGP survey.

Dr Gerada: the RCGP will carry out a further survey later this year to see whether the concerns remain
Dr Gerada: the RCGP will carry out a further survey later this year to see whether the concerns remain

The poll shows the strength of opposition within the profession as the BMA prepares for a special representative meeting next month to shape its response to the Health Bill.

The findings came as a separate YouGov poll last week found widespread public opposition to the use of private providers in the NHS.

The poll of 1,800 RCGP members revealed that 61% of GPs disagree or strongly disagree with the general direction of the reforms.

Overall, just 21% think the reorganisation will lead to better patient care, while only 24% think it will lead to reduced bureaucracy.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said the survey showed the ‘continuing concerns’ GPs have about the proposals outlined in the Health Bill.

She said: ‘I hope that these results will provide the government with an insight into the very real concerns of GPs across England about the impact these reforms could have on the healthcare and services we provide to our patients in the future.’

Dr Gerada said the RCGP would carry out a further survey later this year to see whether the concerns remain.

Respondents also highlighted fears around the potential of GP commissioning, and the ‘any willing provider’ policy.

Just 30% think GP commissioning will improve healthcare outcomes, the survey shows. Only 26% think it will create a patient-led NHS.

Only 11% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the any willing provider policy will improve outcomes. Only 14% think the policy will help create a patient-led NHS or increase accountability in the NHS, the poll revealed.

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll, commissioned by Unison, revealed that just 27% of the public would support private companies providing NHS services.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis, warned that the Health Bill is ‘heading for trouble’. ‘The fact is there is very little support for this Bill from anywhere,’ he said.

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