Contract could be rewritten in five years if GPs vote Yes
GP negotiators have unveiled a shopping list of demands they will present to the Government if a Yes vote is secured in the contract ballot.
The GPC has pledged to return straight to the negotiating table to demand golden handcuff payments for GPs over 60, fines for forced allocations and a new system to base GPs' global sum on their registered practice population rather than census data.
Dr Simon Fradd, joint-deputy chair of the GPC, told the Nottingham contract roadshow last week the new contract could be completely rewritten within five years.
'Ministers will tell you it's finished,' he said. 'But we want to renegotiate certain aspects immediately.'
Dr Fradd said it was 'crucial' to revisit the GPC's failure to win £15,000 retention payments for GPs who agree to work for two years beyond the age of 60 to allow time to recruit extra GPs.
Negotiators are also determined to force the issue of fines to deter primary care organisations from overusing their power to force allocations on practices.
The third priority would be agreeing a deadline of 2007 to replace the use of census data with registered patient populations when calculating practices' notional list size. This would ensure GPs do not lose out if their area has large numbers of 'ghost' patients.
Dr Fradd said he hoped the LMCs conference next year would identify 'hundreds' of other elements of the contract that GPs want renegotiated.
He added: 'If we accept the contract it's the starting point. But if we give it a No vote it disappears for ever. I think people have got it in their minds that if this contract is accepted it's for ever.
'We are not saying that any of the things we have accepted on the initial offer will exist forever and a day.'
Dr Rob Barnett, a GPC member and secretary of Liverpool LMC, said the guarantee that key aspects would be renegotiated would encourage a Yes vote: 'It's a positive way of looking at things. No contract is 100 per cent perfect.'
Does the GPC's commitment to renegotiate make you more likely to vote Yes?
E-mail your views to Pulse@cmpinformation.com