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CAMHS won't see you now

New GP contract to include seven-day access requirement, PM announces

Seven-day access will form part of a new voluntary GP contract to be published by the Government, the Prime Minister has announced.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today, David Cameron announced that the Government ‘will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box-ticking and the form filling’.

Instead, he said, it will focus on ‘making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm’.

The contract will be voluntary and offered to practices or federations covering at least 30,000 patients. 

The BMA has said that this has not been discussed with them, 

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens also issued a statement saying that they are developing a new voluntary contract for practices to expand and provide primary and secondary care by April 2017.

Mr Cameron told Andrew Marr: ‘I can announce today that we will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box-ticking and the form filling.

‘I don’t think anyone is happy with the GP contract, so this new contract will focus on making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm, that’s what we want to see.’

He added: ‘Already because of the steps we have taken, a third of people are accessing the NHS on that basis by next year, but we want it for everybody and that new GP contract will help deliver that.’

A DH press statement said: ’The new contract will be voluntary, with federations or practices that cover populations of at least 30,000 patients.

It added: ’The new contract will be offered to GPs on a phased basis, starting with those groups of GPs that are most ready to work in this new way and building on the success of the pioneering Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund for GP access and the NHS vanguards.’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that the announcement was ’not discussed with the BMA’, and does ’nothing to address the root causes of the pressures on general practice’. 

He referenced Pulse’s investigation last week showing that due to poor uptake of seven-day services, eight of the original 18 ‘Challenge Fund’ pilots have reducing their opening hours.

He said: ’The Government must learn from its own pilot schemes where there have been a number of examples of weekend appointments having little or no pick up by patients. These proposals could waste precious NHS resources and divert staff and funds from overstretched core GP services.

’While getting rid of the box ticking of QOF is something the BMA has long been calling for, this should apply to all practices. It would be wholly wrong if this is being used as a carrot to only benefit patients for those practices considering the new GP contract.

’Crucially, we do not need the diversion of a new contract, we need proper levels of investment in GP services, and thousands more GPs and staff to keep up with the sheer number of patients coming through the door in order to provide safe, quality care.’

The announcement comes a Pulse investigation last week showing that due to poor uptake of seven-day services, eight of the original 18 ‘Challenge Fund’ pilots have reducing their opening hours.

At the same time, Mr Stevens announced that a new ‘voluntary’ GP contract will be developed to enable practices to work in bigger groupings and follow the lead of some of the ‘vanguard’ projects around the country that are piloting providing a wider range of secondary care and community services.

He said: ‘Many family doctors are now… wanting to pool their sovereignty and work in federations, super practices and our new vanguard care models.

’To support that, they are asking NHS England for a new contract option, which will combine core general practice with wider primary community and health services, serving larger populations.

‘So NHS England will now work with GPs – through the vanguard programme and beyond – to develop a new voluntary contract by April 2017.’

NHS England said in July that GPs would be offered ‘simple and attractive’ conditions to encourage them away from the national contract and join the ‘new models of care’ that are being tested across the country.




Readers' comments (45)

  • Rest in peace a General practice.

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  • Dave, this is SO not over yet. You just lit the blue touch paper.

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  • The real interesting question is why on earth is Mr Cameron doing this? The junior doctors are about to come out on strike. Consultants are being pushed to work routinely seven days a week and now this for GPs. The government must realise that they are deliberately pushing all doctors to come out on strike. So what can be the purpose of that action? As emergency work will still be carried out, and there is a big debate as to what counts as emergency, is the government expecting the population to turn against doctors? Do they think that doctors will eventually agree to these new terms and conditions and reduced pay for some?

    I remember when Murdoch almost forced the printers to strike. The reason behind this was because there were non-union workers ready in the wings to take over. Is anybody aware of huge numbers of doctors and nurses being trained up in other countries that are ready to come in and take over if we all strive? Has a deal been secretly done with medical staff in Cuba, or Russia?

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner04 Oct 2015 8:20pm

    I make a really nice Toast and spread the jam and butter . I was wondering if I could join you..please tell me there is no revalidation and appraisal to see if my spreading technique is adequate as advised by the Economist in Timbuktu ?

    This is the whats happening to the NHS

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  • I urge all my colleagues mulling retirement in the next 2 or 3 years to just get on and do it. Life is just too short for this BS. There are other things you can do. And, if your parting gift to those you leave behind is that surgeries close, patients revolt, and this madness from on high is halted because they is just no one left to see the punters, then you will have done those of us left behind a favour. No medical student should even contemplate our speciality, unless it's a firm device to leave the UK.

    "In order to save the village, it is sometimes necessary to burn it down".

    Where is Ivan tonight? Working?

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  • Ivan we need your help 'staying alive'.

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  • This will come as a "voluntary" trojan horse but make no mistake, it is an imposition of sorts. Defund Gms and force practices to take a new contract with in effect a return to 24 hour responsibility. I'm sure this will be partly funded by qof and abandoned des. A few greedy sods will jump head first, some will be forced to in order to survive and many will simply close up 44 year old, in a partnership, worked my socks off to develop a great practice over the last 20 years and am getting screwed by circumstances beyond my control and seeing it all crumble. V sad but I don't see a future for myself if this goes ahead. I'm sure most feel that way and only those who have no other choice would want to stay in UK General practice.

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  • BMA response is so weak - it's a tragedy that we aren't united to defy contract impositions (effectively what this is) which we know are not in the best interest of the NHS nor us as a profession.

    Come on BMA - let's join the junior doctors in industrial action - United we stand and all that

    We need LEADERSHIP!! Otherwise everyone will 'rebel' in their own way whether it's retirement, emigration, locuming - and sadly the government will succeed in destroying the NHS

    I've recently rejoined the BMA in the hope (don't laugh) that they will muster the troops.......

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  • On behalf of the GPC; We welcome this contract as an exciting opportunity to do something for nothing.

    On a brighter note - the RCGP does have a lovely new cafe in London.

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