Conflicts of interest arising from the government’s NHS reforms are a concern for seven out of 10 GPs, according to a new study.

The report published yesterday found that three quarters of family doctors do not agree with proposals to link practice income to the performance of their commissioning group, while 85 per cent do not believe that practice boundaries should be abolished.

Some 68 per cent are concerned about the impact the Health and Social Care Bill could have on the patient-doctor relationship, while 69 per cent are worried about their proposed role as both the commissioners and providers of care.

More than 40 per cent of GPs took part in the research, which was commissioned by the BMA.

BMA’s GPs committee chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: “The huge response rate shows how strongly GPs feel about the topics in question, particularly when it comes to the changes being made to the health service in England.

“GPs do not want the trust patients put in them to be damaged by these reforms, yet this is exactly what they fear will happen.

“The government must take heed and further revise its plans for the quality premium in particular, to avoid any potential damage to the doctor-patient relationship.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The first duty of doctors must always be to their patients. We wholeheartedly agree that this unique relationship should never be compromised.

“Our plans for clinical commissioning are about understanding patients’ needs better and providing high quality care to meet those needs.”