Viewpoint: What will Jeremy Corbyn do for GPs?

Now that we've all got used to the idea that the Labour Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader, what do we think it will mean for GPs and general practice?

Well, I’m not a great fan of politics but as a GP I like watching people and some people are worth watching.

When I look at the suited, smooth-talking 'I will answer your question, but first let me say this' brigade, I see very little in common with me.

However, when I look at the guy with the open collar, using public transport where possible, saying he doesn’t know when he doesn’t know, and thinking about answers for questions posed by people for whom he feels a responsibility, I see a lot in common with general practice.

I can understand why people went for Jeremy Corbyn as the 'one of these candidates is not like the others' choice.

I don’t envy him the challenge he faces now because it's so much easier to be outside the tent, rather than aiming for the small gap from the inside.

How will Jeremy Corbyn relate to GPs?

So what does this mean for primary care? I don’t think it means that much actually - the government will not change and if l’ancien regime has its way then JC may be long gone by the next election and he’s got a lot on at present just trying to be an effective leader.

Simon Stevens has the future staked on the potential disruptive evolution engendered by the Vanguards, which will come to pass regardless of Westminster and is still our best hope for a future NHS.

When it comes to how the new Labour leader deals with the average GP, the pressures of work and the crisis in general practice, a lot will depend on how JC and his team relate to GPs.

If the small GP business is seen as a capitalist device exploiting the poor, generating income for a well-off few, then rest assured that Labour will offer little support.

However, if the small practice or aspiring federation is seen as a socially minded community resource, it's just possible that the provider side of general practice may have a new ally.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners. This article was first published on our commissioning website Inside Commissioning

Photo: UNP

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