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'GPs will be stunned and angered' at breakdown in talks, says GPC

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman has hit back angrily at the Government’s announcement on the GP contract, and warned practices they face a ‘threatened imposition’.

Dr Buckman said the Deaprtment of Health had been ‘disingenuous’ in its explanation for the breakdown, which he claimed was due to last-minute amendments to a deal which was close to being agreed.

He said: ‘GPs will be stunned and angered that the Government is disregarding five months of detailed negotiations between the BMA and NHS Employers which was in its final stages just a couple of weeks ago. The Government must urgently rethink its approach and return to our negotiated settlement that was so close to being concluded.’

‘The implications of the Government’s new proposals for general practice are likely to be huge, and we will be examining the consequences of this threatened imposition so that we can fully inform the profession and public as soon as possible. There are serious question marks over whether some of the intended changes are based on sound clinical evidence or are practical or feasible.’

Dr Buckman also said the proposals, which include a 1.5% uplift in practice funding in exchange for additional workload and a series of sweeping changes to the QOF, failed to recognise that ‘many practices are already stretched to breaking point’.

‘For all practices, the changes will place an enormous strain on GPs at a time when they are struggling under the weight of a wholesale NHS reorganisation, especially the implementation of CCGs.’

‘Doctors recognise that we are in tough economic times and the BMA has been committed to achieving a negotiated settlement that delivers genuine improvements for patients while being realistic about what practices can deliver.’

Readers' comments (14)

  • I don't really understand the "stunned and angered bit" GPs always seem to assume that others bargain from a moral standpoint?????????THEY DON'T-the DOH have always and will always use dirty tactics. PLUS, they always keep in reserve....the threat of phoning their "chums" at The Daily Mail to batter us into submission.

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  • The government must understand that general practice is already battling the perfect storm and it is imperative that they change course and work with us in order to mitigate the many far reaching consequences in the years to come.

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  • The direction of travel for primary care was clearly spelt out in the Health & Social Care Act 2012, which was initially eagerly welcomed by many GPs with little noise from BMA, so why the "stunned" comment? The DH is asking hospital clinicians and managers to work more efficiently, are GPs above the same pressures? From the primary care side of things, GP practice's have been constantly underfunded. From the DH and patient perspective, GPs got a fantastic deal from the last contract, now it is time to call an end to the "good times". And for GPs to make their own contribution just like nurses, teachers & other public sector staff have been doing for past 3 years.

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  • Is the author of the 2:47 comment actually a GP - working GP hours? And were they in post prior to 2004 when general practice was on its knees? We are back to the same position, more and more work being piled into primary care with precious little back up - community services that put the answer machine on mid afternoon so they do not have to take another intermediate care call that day, hospitals that send out pointless messages like 'please find an alternative to admission' - and then post the intermediate care number (which is answered by an answering machine). GPs started making a contribution long before anyone else - the pay has been falling and pension contributions rose long before anyone else's. Nurses and teaches on the other hand are simply having a pay freeze and the rise in pension contributions is being mitigated by loading increased rises against (yes you've guessed it) GPs and other doctors.

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  • Come on Chaps and Chapesses . WHat are we going to do abuot this ? This looks like a massive reduction in funding to primary care - any suggestions ?
    Is it time for the CCGs to stand up for their frontline staff ?

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  • Sorry if my post @2.47 may have upset some. What I was trying to indicate was that there are always two sides to any story. We need to be able to see beyond our own lives and appreciate that others may view things very differently from a different perspective.

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  • I have an idea, lads and lasses. Why don't we just whimper and comply? This tactic seems to have worked very well since we had the Thatcher/Clarke 'reforms' rammed up our collective jacksie in 1990. Never mind, when this cack handed politically driven reorganisation fails there will be another one along in 5 years.

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  • Nhsfatcat

    We must stop apologising for being well paid in comparison when our lifestyle is being impacted more and more by work. Our training, our experience is unparalleled in most of the world.
    If HMG want to pay us less, then salary us , then they'd see how much unpaid work we do when we stop it. (Don't panic -We'll soon have FHSA's again and IOS claims cf. CCG and QoF--and around we'll all go again, some will get dizzy and fall off, the rest of us will cling on for dear life!)

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  • The government pays less than a years pet insurance for my cat for each patient on our list. I guess they have to recoup the 40M they wasted on the west coast rail franchise bid from somewhere. What we actually need is decent representation which is something we will never get from the BMA. We are already seeing a brain drain in our area with GPs retiring almost on a weekly basis. The BMA needs to grow some balls and toughen up. I have stated before the most effective weapon we have is our prescription pad. Consolidated action by GPs can be achieved without loss of public support by all GPs refusing to prescribe generically.

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  • THE WHEEL TURNS FULL CIRCLE AGAIN. How many times have I seen this. An exodus from General Practice as happened in 2001 is the only thing that makes politicians sit up and notice. It's about to happen again in the next 3 years.

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