Speaking yesterday in Bolton, Lancashire, Mr Cameron said: ‘Labour undermined the GP relationship with its catastrophic negotiation of the GP contract, which took the responsibility for organising out-of-hours care away from GPs.
‘We're going to restore the link that was lost by giving GPs the responsibility to manage the entire relationship that a patient has with the NHS.
‘So either they provide the care that a person needs, or they commission it from another provider — or along with the patient they decide on a combination of the two.
‘With this power GPs will control the budgets for the care of each of their patients.
‘Instead of far-off bureaucracies soaking up funding, local doctors will be able to ensure that money follows the patient, and is spent on frontline care.
‘And the human benefits are clear too.
‘The family doctor service ensures that — even though through the course of your treatment you many see many specialists ... there is always one person in charge that you know by name and trust completely.'
Dave Prentis, Unison's general secretary, said: ‘Anyone who thinks that the Tories are the party of the NHS is living on another planet. David Cameron may have respect for the NHS, but the events of the past week have shown that the Tories do not support the NHS. And no amount of back-peddling from Cameron will now convince people that it has their full backing.'
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