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A busy 48 hours at BMA House

‘A week is a long time in politics’, Harold Wilson famously once said. Medical politics is no exception – and in fact, it could be just 48 hours before we see a number of key developments.

By Steve Nowottny

‘A week is a long time in politics', Harold Wilson famously once said. Medical politics is no exception – and in fact, it could be just 48 hours before we see a number of key developments.

Tomorrow sees the year's second BMA Council meeting, and discussion of the European Working Time Directive and its expected impact on trainee doctors is likely to dominate debate.

But council members will also hear a report from a new sub-committee set up to establish a ‘strategy for campaigning against the creeping commercialisation of the NHS.' Could this be Support Your Surgery, The Sequel?

Some of the GPC negotiating team also sit on BMA Council, so they may be involved in discussions, but for the GPC, the biggest item on the agenda tomorrow has to be its crunch meeting with health minister Ben Bradshaw to discuss the scrapping of the square root formula.

As Pulse reports again this week, PCOs have been decidedly backward in coming forward when it comes to working out how to support the practices who will be hardest hit by the QOF prevalence changes.

This isn't, the GPC stress, the Government's fault. After all, PCOs were explicitly told they ‘should work with practices that identify themselves as experiencing a significant loss in income to understand the impact of the new arrangements on the service provision.' But they haven't done so – and now GPC negotiators will ask Mr Bradshaw what he can do to ensure recalcitrant PCOs play ball.

How they get on tomorrow will be near the top of the agenda at Thursday's GPC meeting, but expect discussion too on a wide range of topics – the future of the QOF, forthcoming DDRB pay report and MPIG phase out will all probably feature at some point, and there's much else going on besides.

One thing on the agenda for certain is the Summary Care Record rollout, normally a subject confined to specialist forums such as the Joint GP IT Committee of the RCGP and GPC. But Pulse's revelation last week that some patients have been told they can only opt out of having a care record if they ask in person has apparently caused the BMA to sit up and take notice.

Given that the GPC has been relatively supportive of the Summary Care Record following the decision to switch to a ‘consent-to-view' model - and given that the wider care records rollout is now underway - this may or may not be quite significant.

Two days. It's a long time in politics.

BMA House: A busy 48 hours ahead for GP leaders Recent posts

The politics behind the minimum alcohol pricing plan March 16
Federations: policy pipe-dream or the future for GPs? March 13
'104% of practices using Choose and Book.' So how's that then? March 10
QOF and MPIG changes: what your PCT is doing March 3
GPC's exaggerated claims on QOF losers starting to pay dividends February 27
Extended hours? You must be joking... February 25
Should GMC have spent £43,000 on Cape Town junket? Feburary 20
Pay survey by next week? MPIGs might fly... February 18
Lord Darzi, GQ superstar February 13
Why GPs will no longer have a choice over Choice February 12
The strange contenders for the world's best GP job February 11
When is a consultation not a consultation? When it's on polyclinics February 10
What would you ask Alan Johnson February 05
Choose and Book: we told you so February 04
Is the straight white male GP really an endangered species? February 02
Preparing for power 30 January
Profits drop not the only story from GP survey January 29
Choose and Book: Two steps back, one step forward January 26
Lord Darzi's secret meeting with the private sector January 22

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