GPs to take the lead in averting ill health

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Duncan Selbie is visibly rattled. The chief executive of Public Health England has just endured a grilling from Pulse and has reluctantly agreed to pose for his photograph.

But perhaps his slightly grumpy demeanour is justified. Mr Selbie is charged with turning a health service traditionally not good at preventing illness into the lean, healthy-living promoting machine envisaged in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. It is a big job.

But PHE’s approach has not gone down well with most GPs. Plans for practices to screen millions under the Diabetes Prevention Programme baffled a profession already struggling to keep up with the day job.

And the NHS Health Checks scheme has been criticised by MPs, with the RCGP calling for it to be suspended.

But when confronted with these criticisms Mr Selbie is resolute. GPs are at the centre of his plans, he insists, and will benefit in the long run.

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