Labour's NHS plans threaten existence of general practice, warns RCGP

Labour's plans for hospital-led integrated care organisations employing GPs won't work and threaten the existence of general practice, according to RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker.

Dr Baker: ' The model that Andy Burnham is proposing simply will not work.' Pic: RCGP
Dr Baker: ' The model that Andy Burnham is proposing simply will not work.' Pic: RCGP

Responding to the plans outlined by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham at Labour's conference in Manchester on Wednesday, Dr Baker said: 'His plans could destroy everything that is great and that our patients value about general practice and could lead to the demise of family doctoring as we know it.

'Only yesterday he criticised the expensive and time-consuming top-down reorganisation of the NHS as a result of the Health and Social Care Act. Yet his proposals would be just as disruptive, causing even more upheaval for patients and distracting doctors and managers away from what really matters - delivering excellent patient care.

'GPs want to work as part of wider clinical teams to ensure that the NHS can provide a single service to each patient, instead of the fragmented approach that too often is experienced by patients today. But it makes no sense for hospitals - organisations that provide acute, intermittent and specialist care - to lead on the delivery of person-centred, continuous and co-ordinated care.

'The RCGP is positive about integrated care. We are positive about working with colleagues right across the NHS. But the model that Andy Burnham is proposing simply will not work.'

* Only Labour can save the NHS, says BMA deputy chairman

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