Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley sets out his position on GPs in this opposition day debate:

Motion: That this House supports the family doctor
service, and recognises that it is the first point of contact for the
majority of patients; further recognises the invaluable role that GPs
have in the NHS; regrets the undermining and undervaluing of GPs by the
Government; is concerned about the lack of empirical and clinical
evidence for the establishment of polyclinics in every primary care
trust; opposes the central imposition of polyclinics against local
health needs and requirements; is further concerned about the delay in
publishing evidence on the cost-effectiveness of walk-in centres;
believes that patients should be able to choose the most convenient GP
practice, whether close to home or work; calls for GPs to be given real
budgets, incentives to make savings, the freedom to re-invest for their
patients and the ability to innovate in contracts with healthcare
providers; supports rewarding GPs who choose to provide services in
deprived areas or areas of expanding population; and further supports
the incorporation of patient-reported outcome measures into the Quality
and Outcomes framework and the development of structures and services
in general practice that are designed by GPs and primary care providers
in response to patients’ needs and choice.

purpose of the motion is straightforward. Through the new contract with
general practitioners, the Government had a major opportunity to revive
general practice in this country, and to rebase the NHS in
patient-centred care and primary-care-led services. They failed to do
that; by contrast, they have entered into a conflict with general
practitioners that will undermine the service. The Government are
taking an approach to the reconfiguration of primary care services that
matches the dangers of the approach that they took to reconfiguration
of secondary care. The progressive centralisation of services, the
progressive undermining of access to care, the progressive undermining
of the ability of clinicians across the NHS to determine what is best
for their patients—those are the tragic consequences of the
Government’s failure to negotiate the GP contract successfully. Their
mean-minded approach is not to negotiate in partnership with general
practitioners, but to try to arrive at a solution that cuts costs and
centralises services, while undermining the independence and clinical
effectiveness of general practice."

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