GPs demand end to divisive pay deals
The GPC is facing demands that it change its negotiating strategy to ensure that future pay deals avoid creating further sets of winners and losers.
LMC leaders are looking to prevent a repeat of last year's contract negotiations, which saw the phase-out of the MPIG begin and the scrapping of the QOF prevalence formula.
Both moves were acutely controversial, leaving practices with widely differing fortunes depending on their contract, location and size.
A motion to be debated at next month's LMCs conference will call for all future pay rises ‘to be paid equally to all practices', to avoid the divisions prompted by last year's deals.
The conference motion, split into five parts, attacks the ‘derisory' pay increase offered to practices this year, which it says will be offset by the big losses many practices will face from QOF prevalence changes.
Although all GPs received a contract uplift from the 2009/10 deal, PMS GPs and those practices reliant on correction factor payments got less, and some of those with low disease prevalence ended up with no increase at all.
The motion condemns the recommended offer of a 0.7% uplift for PMS practices as ‘unfair and punitive', and also ‘deplores' the cuts made to GP registrar supplements.
The GPC last week revealed it has begun discussions with NHS Employers over next year's pay award, with negotiators insisting they were determined not to agree to any deal that would create ‘a new set of problems'.
GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman acknowledged this year's award had ‘not been much of a pay rise' for many GPs, and said the GPC was determined that next year's deal did not produce any ‘unintended consequences' for practices.
‘Clearly, [this year's deal] has done one thing which is a relief, which is that we got a pay rise. But many GPs would say, ‘it's not much of a pay rise is it?' he said.
Dr Buckman said discussions with NHS Employers, which begun last week, had so far focused on whether the ratio formula used for this year's award could be repeated.
‘We're looking to see whether changing it would be beneficial. We have to be extremely careful when we model plans to see that there are no unintended consequences.'
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC negotiator, said the GPC were conscious of the problems that sprung up from last year's agreement.
He said: ‘This is a highly complex area, and the last thing we want to do is to rush into making any sort of sweeping changes, that result in further problems, or a new set of problems.'LMCs will demand the GPC change tack in future pay discussions to ensure equality between practices What else is on the agenda at the LMCs conference
Out of hours:
Motion demanding the GPC agrees and publishes a set of minimum criteria to apply in the event the profession takes back commissioning responsibility
Motions attacking plans for local QOF and for indicators to be removed from the QOF once ‘embedded in general practice'
Square Root Formula:
Motion attacking PCOs who have failed to help GPs losing up to £100,000
Revalidation: Demands for programme to be fully funded and resourced by the Government