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GP choice key in coalition deal

Giving patients a choice over which GP they want to register with is one of the key health service pledges to emerge from the coalition deal between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Promises also include a move to renegotiate the GP contract, which has given GPs the choice of opting out of out-of-hours care. A single urgent care number for patients with non-life-threatening conditions will also be introduced to allow contact with GPs, pharmacy and walk-in services.

Government officials will measure "health results that really matter" and will primarily target an improvement in cancer and stroke survival rates. The proposal goes against a Tory manifesto pledge to scrap government-imposed targets.

A plan to include directly-elected individuals on health boards has also been outlined, an echo of a Lib Dem measure which, the party said, will mean a "stronger voice for patients locally".

The formation of an independent board to run the NHS on a day-to-day basis, a Tory policy pledge in their manifesto, will go ahead, as will moves to cut red tape. The number of health quangos will be slashed, administration costs reduced by a third and resources transferred to the front line.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Coalition Government deal

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I agree with Karen except that one third top management will be reduced is a good idea. What about patients who are aggressive and demanding and also write complaints which then creates a long bureaucratic process. What about the frontline staff who face this behaviour where managers do not
give support" - Victoria, London

"Sounds like a fairly typical government spiel which doesn't actually say anything - as people can already choose their GP so that's nothing new. I know I personally joined 3 GP practices in quick succession until I found one I liked. GPs don't do out of hours calls, certainly in London, and haven't for the last 10 years at least so that's not new. GPs are already on health boards as I know that 2 GPs where I worked, were
on different health boards  so thats nothing new so seems like a load of waffle to me" - Karen, London