Health Act is historic mistake, says RCGP chair

The Health and Social Care Act will be seen as an historic mistake in years to come, according to RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada.

Dr Clare Gerada: Health Act is historic mistake
Dr Clare Gerada: Health Act is historic mistake

‘In 10 years’ time, the Act will be viewed as one of the most historic misjudgments of all time,’ she told the RCGP annual conference 2013.

This is in spite of the RCGP successfully forcing the government to pause the process of the Act to include more focus on the interests of patients. Speaking at the conference in Harrogate on Thursday, Dr Gerada said the Act was not perfect but ‘a hell of a lot better than it could have been’.

The government had insisted that the reforms would result in better outcomes for patients, she said.

‘Only time will tell, but the early evidence suggests what we feared; chaos and confusion,’ said Dr Gerada.

She pointed to two RCGP polls that demonstrated GPs shared her concerns about general practice.

In the surveys, 85% of respondents said that general practice was in crisis while nearly half say they could no longer guarantee safe patient care.

‘We do 40-60 consultations every day in an 11-hour day in the consulting room. And most think that patients will have to wait longer to see us,’ said Dr Gerada.

The RCGP has launched a campaign for fairer funding, demanding at least 10% of the health budget – up from 9% - and calling for a minimum of 10,000 additional GPs. 

In spite of the problems, Dr Gerada said she felt positive.

‘I believe the future is bright for general practice. The simplest and best way to get a better health service is to invest in primary care.’

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

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...