Hewitt slams GP reps

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt launched a veiled attack on GP representatives whose political designs she said blurred the real picture of opinion on the NHS front line.

Earlier this month the LMCs conference passed a motion of no confidence in the health secretary and the government's handling of the NHS.

But Ms Hewitt seemed to dismiss the damning indictment, saying health leaders had a political agenda not reflecting GP feeling.

At the NHS Confederation conference in London last week, Ms Hewitt said: 'For many people, especially some national newspaper editors, the NHS exists in a strange world where it is simultaneously perfect and terrible; in urgent need of reform, but too precious ever to change. The people who come to these conferences are usually politically-minded.'

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum rejected the criticism: 'It's a bit like saying the government doesn't represent the country because it is political.'

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