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GPC negotiators facing vote of no confidence from LMCs

GPC negotiators are set to face a vote of no confidence at next month's emergency LMC conference amid strong evidence they are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of GPs.

Manchester LMC said it would table a motion calling for the resignation of the negotiating team at the conference on May 14, while

Liverpool LMC said it would call for professional negotiators.

The calls came as GP representatives warned many GPs would vote No in the contract ballot even if they believed negotiators' arguments that the minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG) meant they could not lose out financially.

Dr Alison Hutton, Manchester LMC secretary, said the negotiators had lost the confidence of the majority of GPs and should resign.

'The profession won't trust what they do now,' she said. 'There is a lack of confidence they will be able to produce anything that will satisfy GPs.'

Dr Fay Wilson, GPC member and a GP in Birmingham, said GPs 'mistrust the process and are anxious'.

She added: 'Some are saying MPIG seems to solve the problem of being a loser but they are still unsure whether to vote for it.'

GPs are expected to get their chance to vote on the contract soon after the conference. A mid-May ballot would mean a result by mid-June.

Solace for the GPC negotiators rests with a significant body of LMCs who did not back the special conference.

They said they would seek clarification of key issues, such as MPIG and improving communication with GPs, but backed the current team to resolve the crisis.

'We should be letting negotiators sort this out rather than rip everything apart in public,' said Dr Paul Abbott, Cornwall and Scilly Isles LMC chair.

·Dr Simon Fradd, GPC joint-deputy chair, said the new contract ready-reckoner has shown his practice profits will jump 43 per cent in three years, even before adding enhanced services payments.

The practice ­ one of 100 testing the reckoner before its release ­ had been a significant Carr-Hill loser.

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