Burnham drops RCGP conference for a trip to US

Health secretary Andy Burnham has pulled out of the RCGP conference this week in favour of a visit to the US.

Andy Burnham to miss RCGP conference
Andy Burnham to miss RCGP conference

The move comes after Lord Darzi failed to turn up at last year's conference in Bournemouth, sending a hastily filmed video and Dr David Colin-Thome in his place.

This year will see health minister Mike O'Brien travelling to Glasgow at short notice, with Mr Burnham appearing on video.

The health secretary recently let down GPs by withdrawing from a speech at the NHS Alliance conference in Manchester last month.

A DoH spokeswoman said: ‘Andy Burnham is going to the US for the launch of the Commonwealth Fund report, which is an event attended by secretaries of state every year.

‘He will be promoting the work of UK GPs and the wider NHS in providing high quality services on an international stage. He has recorded a message to the conference, thanking GPs for their hard work.

‘The department and its ministerial team take the RCGP conference seriously and are pleased that Mike O'Brien is attending. This will be a great opportunity to meet with GPs and discuss the issues affecting them.'

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