Exclusive: Gordon Brown responds to Valuing General Practice campaign

Prime minister Gordon Brown today responded to GP newspaper and Healthcare Republic's Valuing General Practice campaign.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

Launched in May, the campaign stressed the cost-effectiveness and popularity of general practice and was backed by 285 GPs, 3,980 patients, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and bodies including the RCGP, BMA, NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care.

A campaign survey of 276 GPs found that one in seven practices were threatened with closure or relocation to a polyclinic and 82 per cent thought that Mr Brown should make a statement valuing general practice.

Six weeks ago GP and Healthcare Republic publicly challenged the prime minister to make a statement.

Today Mr Brown said: ‘Effective primary care is at the heart of our ambition for a 21st century NHS which is as good at keeping people healthy as it is at treating the sick. We have ambitious plans to expand the number of GPs, enhance the range of services offered in primary care, improve access for patients and support improving quality of care.

‘Giving professionals a greater say over their own services and the future of our NHS has been a major priority for the government over the last year. That is why Lord Darzi was asked to conduct his review through extensive consultation, why we are now seeking to give clinicians much greater involvement in decision making and why in primary care in particular we are expanding the opportunities for professionals to run and manage their own services. I welcome all opportunities, such as the GP35 initiative, to give staff a greater voice in the NHS.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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