Chris Lancelot: The White Paper Part 3: GPs rule, OK?

The more I think about the White Paper, the better it gets.

The GP Record, by Fran Orford www.francartoons.com
The GP Record, by Fran Orford www.francartoons.com

The sheer brilliance of letting GPs loose with most of the NHS budget is just breathtaking. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine anything like this: for the first time in decades, clinicians will be in charge of the NHS.

And not just clinicians but GPs. At long last we will be freed from Lord Moran's notorious assessment of us as 'failed hospital doctors'. It's a judgment which has echoed down the years, insidiously gnawing at our pride, self-esteem and respect from others. GPs are GPs by choice, not failed hospital doctors: we're successful, specialised clinicians who really ought to be called 'consultants in family medicine'.

Although many people instinctively assume hospital consultants alone should be leading the NHS, a moment's thought shows how inappropriate this is. GPs are highly qualified: our opinions are just as valid and our expertise just as relevant as our hospital colleagues' - perhaps more so, given both the breadth of our skills and our long experience in managing the most efficient part of the NHS: primary care.

But equally, hospital consultants shouldn't feel upset or threatened because GPs will be holding the reins of power. I have a message for them: we are your colleagues, not your enemies. We are all in this together. We have as much interest in the success of secondary care as you: indeed, by commissioning wisely and firmly we can help liberate you from inefficient hospital management, so that you can deliver your specialist care more effectively. Consultants won't be sidelined in the new NHS: the practice of medicine will be 'business as usual'.

But not everything in the NHS will remain the same. We GPs will be telling our consortia to remove all inessential management structures and intrusive demands for data.

We will create an NHS where patients aren't treated like inert statistics, we will make hospital managers do what is right for the patients rather than convenient for themselves and we will demand that scarce resources are devoted to clinical activity rather than wasted on inessential management consultants.

It will be wonderful. I can't wait.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Most children could be removed from shielded patient list, deputy CMO suggests

Most children could be removed from shielded patient list, deputy CMO suggests

Most children could be removed from the shielded patient list in a future wave of...

GPs can provide some care for shielded patients in clinical settings, NHS England confirms

GPs can provide some care for shielded patients in clinical settings, NHS England confirms

GPs can provide care to shielded patients in 'infection-controlled clinical settings'...

How digital assistants can help patients manage their health and wellbeing

How digital assistants can help patients manage their health and wellbeing

A project in Staffordshire has shown how practices can make use of digital technology...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

Fair death-in-service deal for locums vital before second COVID-19 wave, warns BMA

Fair death-in-service deal for locums vital before second COVID-19 wave, warns BMA

The government must do ‘the right thing’ and secure adequate death-in-service benefits...

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP workload fears over antibody testing rollout for 'no clinical benefit'

GP practices are being contacted by patients asking for antibody tests as the government...