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GPs to be 'NHS gatekeepers' - PM
Date of article: 16-Jul-10
Article By: Age UK
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to give GPs "the trust and the money and the power" to be the "gatekeepers" of the NHS.
A White Paper has been launched announcing the biggest shake-up of the NHS in many years. Primary care trusts and strategic health authorities will be axed under the plans and GP practices will be given much of their multi-million pound budget.
The majority of NHS services will be managed by consortia of GPs in England, who will control portions of approximately £70 billion of taxpayers' money.
Mr Cameron made the pledge to put GPs in charge while visiting Pemberley Surgery in Bedford, where GPs already work in a consortium of 26 practices which commissions services.
He said: "The most important thing is to recognise we are putting the GP in charge of the health service. All of us know who our GP is and we trust them to do the right thing for us in the NHS.
"We don't know all the bureaucrats and the primary care trusts and the rest of it. So let's actually put the trust and the money and the power with the GP.
"They should be the gatekeepers for the NHS. That's how we are going to improve patient care in this country, how we are going to get better health outcomes, and how we are going to make sure that every penny of tax that we take from people for the NHS is well spent improving our national health service."