Press release

NHS Confederation responds to reports on GP nationalisation speculation

Matthew Taylor responds to media reports that Secretary of State is considering putting primary care under the management of hospitals.

29 January 2022

Responding to speculation in the media that GPs will be brought under the management of hospitals and that there will be an independent review of primary care, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said:

"Proposing to put primary care under the management of hospitals will not fix the major workforce shortages or underinvestment facing these services and it will not resolve the health inequalities that have been made worse by the pandemic. Also, this idea appears to be built on a false premise that hospitals are busy simply because of failures in general practice, which hardworking staff will find deeply offensive after everything they have delivered for their patients. 

"The model for general practice needs modernising but the public health and healthcare challenges facing our population require deep understanding and advocacy for local population needs, which primary care can provide, rather than costly, distracting and time-consuming upheaval. 

"Surgeries are already coming together through their primary care networks and federations to deliver more services to people in the community, which in turn can reduce pressure on hospitals, and we have seen this in action with the hugely successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout. 

"Alongside that, there is already broad support from NHS leaders including across primary care, for the Health and Care Bill to make it even easier for services to join up for the benefit of their patients. 

"We look forward to engaging in the independent review of primary care but like we have seen with the proposed "reform trusts", there is a risk this latest idea could be ill thought through and will undermine this direction of travel before it has even been fully implemented."

About us

We are the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The members we represent employ 1.5 million staff, care for more than 1 million patients a day and control £150 billion of public expenditure. We promote collaboration and partnership working as the key to improving population health, delivering high-quality care and reducing health inequalities.