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U.K. docs fear sending relatives to gov't hospitals

(London Telegraph) Almost half of family doctors and practice nurses do not believe their local hospitals are good enough to treat their own families, a poll has found.

The findings come on the eve of reforms which will hand NHS budgets to groups of GPs, who will decide which hospital and community services to fund and will be able to wield the axe on those which are substandard.

When he drew up the plans, Andrew Lansley, the then health secretary, said the changes would allow clinical staff to shape local services to better meet the needs of their community and encourage providers to compete for patients.

The poll of more than 1,000 doctors, nurses and practice managers working in GP surgeries revealed deep dissatisfaction with the quality of services provided by many hospitals, with just 54 per cent saying they would be happy for a member of their family to be treated there.