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Independents' Day

LMCs to debate mass resignation from NHS unless 'rescue package' is agreed

The LMCs special conference will debate the possibility of the GPC requesting undated resignations from all GPs if a rescue package for general practice is not concluded within six months.

The agenda, however, has devoted no time to the possibility of strike action – despite several LMCs submitting motions on such a debate.

Delegates will also debate whether general practice should become a fully salaried service.

The special conference will take place in London on 30 January, and will be the first such conference to take place since 2013.

It was announced after pressure from LMCs to look into the sustainability of general practice, and the chair of the GPC said the calling of the conference isa ‘reflection of the untenable situation’.

LMCs submitted upwards of a 1,000 motions.

The final debate of the day will be the motion on undated resignations, submitted by Buckinghamshire, which calls for the GPC to enter negotiations with the Government around a ’rescue package’ for general practice.

The motion states that if negotiations with the Government are not concluded by August this year, then the GPC should consider ’what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients’.

Alongside this, the GPC should request resignations from the current NHS contracts from all GPs, it says.

Pulse revealed last month that almost half of GPs support mass resignation from the NHS in protest at the current state of general practice.

However, the conference will not necessarily vote on industrial action beyond the call from Buckinghamshire for the GPC to identify ’actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts’, despite a number of LMCs submitting motions on the issue.

Previously, GP leaders have indicated that industrial action in the form of a strike would not be possible, because there was no specific reason for such action - unlike in the dispute between junior doctors and the Government over contract negotiations, for example.

Elsewhere on the agenda, a motion from Leeds LMC calls on practices to be given funding of £200 per patient per year, noting that the average £141 per patient funding ’is wholly inadequate to provide a safe, sustainable and responsive service that meets the growing needs of their patients’. 

Other motions to be debated include:

  • GPs must have the right to call for the NHS to ’take on the head lease role of any GP premises’;
  • The GPC ’actively campaigns to abolish the regulation of general practice by the CQC’ and produce an alternative to the CQC regime of inspections;
  • For revalidation to be suspended and the frequency of appraisals to be reduced;
  • Concern at the ‘intensity’ that GPs are working and calling for a 48 hour per week maximum and a reduction in core hours;
  • Separate contractual arrangements for home visits, vaccinations and patients in care homes;
  • Reduced bureaucracy for GP returners scheme;
  • Increasing the duration of GP appointments to at least 15 minutes.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC chair, said: ‘GPs’ first priority is their patients. They want to be able to provide enough time and appointments and ensure every member of the public who comes through their practice door gets a safe, high quality service.

’The calling of this special conference is a reflection of the untenable situation where relentless workload pressures, soaring demand and funding cuts has meant that GPs are prevented from providing this high standard of care.’

Dr Chris Hewitt, chief executive of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland LMC, said that a rescue package could include a ‘ten point action plan’ to 'stop the CQC over night, and an urgent review of the burden of bureaucracy and regulation on GPs. Because that could instantly slash the two or three hours that most GPs are wasting each day on paperwork and peddling computer codes.'

What LMCs will vote on

That conference instructs GPC that should negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice not be concluded successfully within 6 months of the end of this conference:

(i) actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts must be identified to the profession

(ii) a ballot of GPs should be considered regarding what work/ services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients

(iii) undated resignations from the current NHS contracts held by GPs should be requested.

Read the agenda in full here


Readers' comments (102)

  • LMC is correct. Discussing industrial action is pointless. You cannot possibly go on strike if you are not an employee. It would simply be a breach of contract. Repeated calls for industrial action just demonstrate a lack of understanding of the situation. Resignation / termination of your contract is the only option to GP partners.

    If we were all salaried we would attain employee rights, no responsibility to deliver impossible contracts, no liability for staff, the ability to strike. The government has been forced back around the negotiating table with the "junior" doctors. I don't see much negotiation going on with General Practice.

    Ditch the contract comrades.

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    Just as we all feared - another damp squib. Even the guys on our side aren't. In 6 months there will be nothing left. Why procrastinate. JUST DO IT.

    So angry my blood boils.

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    Too late now...

    Dr Philippa Whitford MP announced in Parliament that 1500 doctors applied to work overseas last week alone. Mass exodus has begun.

    Some GPs have switched over to working for CQC who will always have well paid work with or without the NHS.

    IMG GP trainees who were released without CCT for failing CSA are now being refused medical indemnity on the grounds they are not on the GP or A&E register so are in total despair unemployed.

    The NHS pension cap of £1m comes into force in April and anything above will get taxed at 55%. How many will be left to top up the NHS pension?

    Foundation year doctors are planning their escape to New Zealand to continue training as NZ junior doctors secured an amazing contract in 2008.

    The LMC and GPC can go through the motions as all they seem to wish to do are debate motions. Many on these committees sit on up to £1.8m final salary scheme pensions. Why rock their boat? Bevan was right...stuff their mouths with gold.

    Privatisation is on schedule as A&Es go into meltdown across the country. PFIs are bankrupting hospitals and removal of MPIG is bankrupting GP surgeries.

    The only hope is if continued junior doctors strikes can swing the tide...

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  • Yea right,fat chance of that happening.Whose gonna pay for our kids private tuition and all those skiing holidays?

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  • Sorry Una, its already gone. We are only watching the spasms of the corpse.

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  • What a mess.....drastic action needed !
    Enough messing about lets just do it!

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  • Una, The pension cap isn't just on the nhs pension its on your total pension pot. Also the tax rate on the excess will depend on whether it's excess lump sum (55% of lump sum over £250,000) or excess pension (25% of of the excess capital value/20).

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  • Having read the details of LMC motions I feel LMC is living on another planet . There is no chance that any government will agree to even 20% of those motions. But one thing is sure only possible outcome seems to be giving back our contracts which is what actually these politicians want so that they can privatise or bring alternative model of funding . That day is not faraway . It would be interesting to see actually how many Gp are ready to hand contracts back . I hope somebody / pulse starts poll on that one . I will be first one to vote . ( PS I am single handed partner for last 18 months)

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  • The current business model for the NHS simply does not add up (tell me something new). Secondary care can bust budgets not only in a year but for decades and be bailed out by whatever government is in power (fat cat NHS Directors). Primary care is paying for these deficits that are now affecting core provision in some areas (Poor GP's working at minimum wage based on hours actually worked!). What the NHS needs service provision that is well funded and well-resourced to enable primary care to do what it is best at and not given budgets that can be disseminated on the back of a fag packet (Holiday's what are they? Blackpool is the new vegas. Aviemore instead of Saas Fee?)!!!

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