Health minister praises GPs as government pledges to tackle burnout

New primary care minister Alistair Burt has paid tribute to GPs and said he will be 'soft' on them as the government's primary care lead.

Health minister Alistair Burt: will be 'soft' on GPs (Photo: North East Bedfordshire Conservatives)
Health minister Alistair Burt: will be 'soft' on GPs (Photo: North East Bedfordshire Conservatives)

Speaking in the first health questions of the new parliament, Mr Burt revealed that his father was a GP.

‘Can I pay tribute to him, and all other GPs for their devotion to practice and looking after people as well as they have done,' the minister said to MPs.

‘They are a vital part of the services. And I will be keen and rather soft on GPs and want to see them enjoy their profession as much as my father has enjoyed his.'

GP contract changes

Questioned about what the government intends to do to reduce the administrative burden on GPs, Mr Burt said the previous coalition government had already helped by cutting QOF indicators by more than a third, but that he was ‘looking for ways in which to do more’.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt again suggested that contract changes could be used to ease GP burnout and encourage more doctors into the profession.

Asked how he intends to meet his pledge to take on an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020, Mr Hunt said: ‘We do need to find these extra GPs. We will do that by looking at the terms and conditions that GPs have. We need to deal with the issue of burnout.’

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