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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Undated resignations submission given green light by LMCs

Local GP leaders in Northern Ireland gave the greenlight for the GPC to ‘move ahead’ with its plan to resign from the NHS en masse this weekend.

At the Northern Irish LMCs Conference 2017, held in Belfast on Saturday, LMC delegates passed a motion approving the plan to submit undated resignations, seen as ‘the only way to save general practice’ from the Department of Health.

Delegates also voted unanimously for motions calling for indemnity costs to be reimbursed in full, as is happening in England, and to begin lobbying for a ‘rescue plan’ for NI general practice.

Speaking at the start of the conference, chair of GPC Northern Ireland Dr Tom Black challenged the incoming health minister for Northern Ireland to ‘work with us or work against us’.

This follows months of wrangling since they first proposed the idea of collecting undated resignations – as revealed by Pulse in October.

After receiving ‘overwhelming support’ when the plan was voted on, GPC NI began collecting resignations this year and say they will submit them once 60% of practices opt-in.

Dr Black said that Northern Ireland has the highest GP workload of the UK devolved nations, with the smallest workforce and lowest funding per capita.

And political turmoil in the Northern Ireland Assembly has hamstrung attempts at an earlier intervention.

‘This is a recipe for collapse,’ said Dr Black.

He added: ‘We met with the Department of Health recently and asked for funding and implementation of the GP led review plan but apparently there is no Executive, no budget and no funding to do this.

‘We asked for a 2017/18 contract settlement in the interim, and then we asked for a contingency plan, essentially a rescue plan for general practice, but we left those negotiations empty handed.’

’As a result, GPs have no alternative but to progress with collecting undated practice resignations,’

Key motions passed by the Northern Irish LMCs Conference

  • Carried - That this conference calls on GPs to move ahead with practice URs as this is the only way to save general practice in NI from the destruction of the service by our department of health.
  • Carried unanimously -That this conference instructs NIGPC to continue to urgently lobby and collaborate with HSCB, DoH and elected representatives to ensure implementation and full funding for the GP rescue plan.
  • Carried unanimously - That this conference demands funding of GPs indemnity costs in view of the fact that NHSE has agreed a scheme in England.
  • Carried - That this conference instructs NIGPC to call on GPC UK to renegotiate the GP contract in order to preserve a safe and effective general practice service within the NHS.

Source: BMA Northern Ireland

Readers' comments (5)

  • This really is a huge motion that should be passed around and handled carefully by the centre.

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  • Don't expect anything from GPC in UK. Either you go the whole hog on your own or be ready to be shackled and impeded by the cardigans in England each with own vested interest.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Everything carries a meaning ; mass resignation appears to be the ground breaking issue here . More importantly, it is the unity you manage to orchestrate , Tom.
    Salute!

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  • If you spend 1 pound, I will give you 2. You would then spend millions, because you would gain double what you spend. So, Stormont spends 1.5 billion on pellets while patients wait 3 years for appointments and die on trolleys and GPs disappear.
    I used to think there was a shortage of money, now I realise that a few people make millions from Stormont schemes.
    So, previously, I would have said, do not resign. Not any more. Not if we are being deliberately being made mugs of, not if they do not care.

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  • I think the only way forward for NI GPs is to follow the model in Ireland. That's if they have the balls to go through with it.

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