HL Deb 08 November 1999 vol 606 cc119-20WA
The Earl of Munster

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will support a campaign to improve public appreciation of the medical professions. [HL4470]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

We believe that the public are generally satisfied with the excellent job done by the vast majority of doctors in the National Health Service. This is reflected, for example, by the recent national patient survey, which showed very high satisfaction levels of patients with their general practitioner.

There is, however, no room for complacency in ensuring that high standards are maintained. Part of the thrust for clinical governance is the Government's desire for clinical services to become more responsive to people's needs by encouraging active and effective patient and user involvement in service development.

The medical profession has recognised the need for all doctors to respect the right of patients to be fully involved in decisions about their care, and this has been enshrined in the General Medical Council's guidance Good Medical Practice. The Government are determined to work with the medical profession to modernise the system of professional self-regulation to ensure that the public's confidence in the profession's ability to maintain high standards is sustained.