Public back GP commissioning

Nearly half of the public think giving GPs commissioning responsibility will make the NHS better over the next few years, a DoH survey shows.

Asked if they thought GPs having 'more of a say in deciding how the NHS spends its money would make the NHS better, 47% agreed.

Positive responses far outweighed other responses - 23% said it would not have any impact, 9% did not know and 27% said a greater role for GPs would have a negative effect.

The poll of 1,011 people by Ipsos MORI found that 79% of respondents agreed that GPs were best placed to understand which services their patients need.

The public also think greater provision of care in the community will improve services.

But public perceptions of the NHS and social care also showed a lack of optimism about the proposed NHS reforms. Less than one in five people expect services to get better while 37% of respondents think services will get worse.

But many respondents knew little about the NHS reforms - the poll found that 73% know 'not very much' or 'nothing at all' about the plans.

The DoH said people's attitudes were likely to be 'heavily influenced by media coverage and hearsay'.

'It will be interesting to see how opinions towards the reforms change as they become embedded and start to have an impact,' a spokesman said.

Overall, the survey showed around seven in 10 people were satisfied with the running of the NHS.

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