- Matthew Limb
England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced plans to overhaul primary care to improve its quality, provoking calls for clarity among doctors’ leaders.
Hunt said that the move was a “more urgent” priority than improving standards in hospitals. His measures include recruiting more GPs, making them more “accountable” for out of hours care, and creating a new chief inspector of general practice within the Care Quality Commission.
Hunt said that there might be changes to the GP contract introduced by Labour in 2004, which he said had “fatally undermined the personal link between GPs and their patients.”
He said, “Reclaiming the ideal of family doctoring in the 21st century means making sure clinicians are accountable for people who are unwell—whether inside or outside hospital. It means responsibility for more proactive care.”
The NHS Alliance, which represents primary care professionals and organisations, said that Hunt’s plans to make GPs accountable were unclear.
The Royal College of General Practitioners warned …