Tories to abolish practice boundaries

Shadow Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley has attacked his Labour counterpart for failing to provide patients with a real choice of GP, and suggested he would scrap fixed practice boundaries.

Andrew Lansley
Andrew Lansley

Speaking at the Royal Society for Arts in London last week, Mr Lansley said that last year’s primary care strategy ‘sounded good. But when you looked at the detail, it rang hollow [because] GPs would still have fixed boundaries’.

‘While they still stand, Alan Johnson's promise to give us the right to choose our GP is meaningless.’

A Conservative government would give patients real choice, he added.

Mr Lansley also used the speech to criticise the government for the failure of practice-based commissioning.

‘If GPs don't have their hands on the purse strings, then patients don't have any real power. [But] since December 2008, the number of GP practices holding notional budgets has actually gone down by 5%.

‘GPs know that notional budgets are pretty pointless anyway... Real budgets will give GPs power to respond to patient choice.  But the Government won't let go. ‘

  • Should practice boundaries be abolished?

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