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Saturday 1 October 2016
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NHS criticised for "political purposes", GPs claim

NHS criticised for "political purposes", GPs claim

GPs have accused the Health Secretary of trying to undermine the public’s trust in them. 

A poll released by the Guardian shows that four in five GPs feel they are being used as “political scapegoats”. 

Most respondents (83%) agreed with the statement: “Jeremy Hunt is seeking to undermine public trust in GPs”, and only 3% disagreed. 

Very few GPs agreed that the 2004 GP contract was a key contributor to the current overcrowding problems in A&E, while 88% disagreed. 

A total of 1,008 GPs were polled from a sample of GPs on Doctors.net.uk. 

Dr Mark Porter, chair of the British Medical Association council told the Guardian: "All politicians must stop using the NHS as a political football. There is currently a damaging climate where NHS staff in particular are used for partisan point-scoring rather than as partners in a joint effort to address the real workload and financial crisis undermining the health service."

However, the Department of Health has rejected the findings, claiming the questions were “leading”. 

The Department of Health said it was "not a reliable poll as doctors were presented with very leading statements which contravene the code of conduct set out by the Market Research Society that respondents should not be led towards a particular view".

A spokesman added: "Jeremy Hunt is a strong advocate of GPs who has scrapped 40% of the targets that previously bogged them down in bureaucracy and freed them to give more personal care, but we make no apology for pushing for greater transparency over pay and higher standards for patients."

Comments

Considering patients have 92% confidence in their GPs (National Patient Survey 2013) its a bit rich for the Health Secretary to try to rubbish the results of a poll that shows very few GPs have confidence in him! Perhaps the Patient Survey - as it is a Government survey and surely conforms to the rules - might like to ask in 2014 if patients have confidence in him?