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Your choice of GP practice

5th March 2010

The government has announced plans to give patients more choice when deciding which general practice to register with.

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Health secretary Andy Burnham has unveiled a consultation process on new plans which should allow people to have more say on which family doctor they want to be registered with.

Mr Burnham said the current system of GPs operating within strict geographical boundaries can be severely restrictive and limit patients’ choice of doctor, especially if they live in poorer areas.

He suggested that a significant minority of people would like to change their GP but are unable to do so under the present system.

While recognising that it is important for many patients to be registered with a local GP so their doctor can visit them at home and help co-ordinate care with local health professionals, other people may prefer to be registered with a doctor nearer their work.

He also acknowledged that others might also want to be with a practice that is open for longer hours, offers more services, or continue to remain with their current practice when they move house.

Mr Burnham said: “We know that to make this work some changes will be needed, for example how we organise home visits for those people who choose to register with a practice further away from where they live.

“That’s why we would like to hear from patients, GPs and practice staff with their views on how the new system should work and how we ensure patients have a wider and more meaningful choice of GP practice.”

 

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