GPs are educated consumers of secondary health care. We know who the best specialists are and, unlike the general public, we are not influenced by glossy brochures and other specious advertising techniques used by a certain sort of doctor, or a certain sort of medical organisation. PCTs in the north of England have take out a seven year contract for the provision of medical services with a private company called Care UK. Less than a third of the capacity of that contract has been taken up. I will not speculate as to why local GPs choose not to use this service, but it is their right to choose. Or it used to be. Now the PCTs are trying to force GPs to refer their patients to Care UK rather than to NHS hospitals. Today we learn that the wife of the chairman of Care UK has donated £21,000 to the private office of Mr Andrew Lansley, the shadow health spokesman.
I wonder why she made this donation? I wonder why it was accepted?