More than half of GPs believe the government's 'listening exercise' has dented their confidence in the Health and Social Care Bill, a survey of more than 800 family doctors in England has found.
Research conducted by medeConnect found that 57% of GPs said discussions on GP commissioning during the NHS Future Forum exercise had a "negative impact" on their confidence in the Bill.
GP principals were significantly more negative than GP non-principals overall (62% compared with 49% respectively).
On the subject of the impact of the proposed reforms on the quality of care patients receive as a result of opening up commissioning to other groups, 49% of GP principals thought that this would have a negative impact on patient care; while 43%of GP non-principals believed that would be the case.
GPs also appear to believe that their ability to influence the quality of patient care will be impacted by extending commissioning decisions to other clinicians – 57% thought this would have either a "very" or "slightly negative impact" on their ability to influence the quality of healthcare patients receive.
The research, conducted following the government's listening exercise, also asked GPs to choose the four words or phrases that most described their view of the future of GP practice.
GP principals were more likely to choose the word "confusing" compared with a similar survey conducted before the listening exercise (55% compared to 48% respectively) and less likely to select "empowering" (6% compared with 10%).
What's your opinion? Did the listening exercise affect your confidence in the Health Bill? Let us know. Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"I don't think it fundamentally changed the ethos of the bill no, but some elements of it will be difficult to implement eg having a nurse and consultant from outside of your geographical patch on the governing board will be unworkable because of additional travel times etc. There is no need for this and in fact local professionals are more in tune with the needs, politics and issues of the area and will be able to more sensibly input to the collective than 'outsiders'" – Stephanie Poulter, Birmingham