Lansley says rationing will not damage GP-patient relationships

GPs will not be forced to ration care at surgery level and risk damaging patient relationships, according to health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Mr Lansley told the RCGP’s annual conference that funding issues would be handled by consortia to protect the doctor-patient relationship.

But he warned of an ‘unprecedented squeeze’ on funding, that existing PCT contracts would have to be honoured, and that failing consortia would be ‘disbanded’.

Mr Lansley told the conference in Harrogate: ‘It would be unacceptable for the rationing of limited resources to take place at the level of the GP and their patient. That’s not what I mean by commissioning.

‘Commissioning is about ensuring the services you need are available and the choices are there. Where investment or disinvestment are needed there will be collective decisions in conjunction with healthcare providers and local authorities. It is not a decision for individual GPs to make.’

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman welcomed the statement: ‘We've been encouraging the secretary of state to think like that.’ Dr Buckman said GPs could collectively be involved in spending decisions but individually treat patients as their first priority.

RCGP chairman Professor Steve Field said it was ‘great to hear a politician speak our lanuage of patient-centredness’.

In a question-and-answer session after the speech, south London GP Dr Eugenia Lee asked the health secretary what would happen to a consortium that failed. He said consortia would be guided and protected, and given access to national and local risk pooling arrangements.

‘But in the long run if a consortium fails and cannot meet its obligations, on either quality or finance, there will be a process by which it will be disbanded and a new consortium established with new managerial responsibilities.

‘But that does not change the direct relationship through the contract with the individual practices. That’s still governed by the GP contract.’

More video highlights

GPs have been urged to reconsider their role in contraceptive services

GPs have a duty to implement sustainable healthcare, says the NHS

GPs challenge health secretary on PCT deficits and contracts

Summary care record to be radically cut back, says health secretary

Health secretary defends pace of change in White Paper reforms

Health secretary tries to calm GP concerns on patient relationship

 

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE LATEST FROM THE RCGP CONFERENCE

Editor's blog: No GP rationing but is this hello to patient budgets and co-payments?

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

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...