As it happened: Day two of the LMCs conference
Live news from the second day of the 2013 LMCs conference
17.30 The conference is over! It has been an intense two days with a lot of good debate. See you next year in York!
17.00 Dr Adam Skinner, from Kent, dons prophylactic clothing to express his point that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no more applicable to health provision than it is ‘to tights or condoms’.
16.31 Dr Grace Gibson, from Hull and East Yorkshire, puts forward a motion to plan for impact of future NHS changes on ability to respond to future health emergencies. She says GPs need to preserve a list system for this - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
16.30 A motion is passed calling for local authorities to have dedicated public health consultant staff support to local CCGs, for the CMO to report back on this and committed resources from local government
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul supports the motion. He says it is very hard to imagine how you can commission for public health without the support of dedicated public health clinicians.
Moving on with regular business…
16.22 And finally the no confidence motion is… rejected. It’s a 60-40 split, but LMC representatives have voted against Motion 803, which accused Jeremy Hunt of ‘misrepresentation of GPs to the public and the press’.
16.21 Motion 802, the stem of which states that ‘GPs should take back responsibility for out of hours provision’, is overwhelmingly rejected. (It was supported by just one GP).
After numerous queries and interventions from the floor, conference chair Dr Michael Ingram and GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman confirm that this means that existing GPC policy that GPs should not take back responsibility for out-of-hours care stands.
Although it was not voted on separately, Dr Ingram says conference has effectively supported the motion from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire LMC which called on the GPC to ‘give the Government a strong, categorically clear message that GPs will not take back responsibility for the provision of out-of hours services’.
16.20 Motion 801 is passed - it’s the uncontroversial one.
801: That conference agrees with the Secretary of State that GPs are the patients’ champions; NHS staff are working harder than ever before; and targets and requirements of QOF, QP and enhanced services are getting in the way of dealing with the patient’s agenda.
16.19 Dr Tony Grewal runs to the stage with an emergency slip, asking conference chairman Dr Mike Ingram to confirm that he has made the decision to reject calls to suspend standing orders. Dr Ingram confirms that he has, to a sharp intake of breath.
16:16 Dr Laurence Buckman says if a motion which says GPs could take back responsibility for out of hours under certain conditions, such as the assurance that no private providers will be involved, is rejected, then current GPC policy which says the GPC will categorically say that GPs cannot take back responsibility for out of hours will stand.
16:13 Two emergency speaker slips. Dr Gill Beck says the LMCs conference committee should ask conference if it is willing to suspend standing orders so that a motion which would mandate the GPC to oppose GPs taking back responsibility for out of hours could be debated.
It’s all getting quite technical. A vote is imminent…
16:12 Londonwide LMCs’ Dr Tony Grewal asks whether it would be possible to vote against Hunt’s willingness to negotiate with the GPC, rather than a vote of no confidence which would tie the GPC negotiators’ hands.
16:09 Delegates are competing with each other to express their anger as colourfully as they can. ‘Jeremy Hunt is fighting to destroy the NHS, we are fighting to save it,’ is a relatively tame effort. ‘Call for Hunt’s head. He makes Ken Clarke look like the Messiah,’ is much better…
16:07 Dr Joanne Bailey asks the conference committee to suspend standing orders so the conference can vote on a motion which says that the GPC will oppose any proposition for GPs to take back responsibility for out of hours. She is applauded for her suggestion.
16:06 One speaker says handing back out-of-hours responsibility to GPs to solve rising A&E attendances is like ‘trying to put a bandage on a haemorrhage’.
16:02 ‘We don’t need a vote of no confidence, we need a strong, united negotiating team. We need to build bridges, not break them,’ one speakers says to applause.
16:01 Another representative speaks against a motion which says GPs should take back responsibility for out-of-hours care, which she says does not have the support of the backing of the sessional subcommittee, even though it is nominally tabled in their name. (See Dr Mike Ingram’s explanation of it being a rescinding motion below).
The speaker says there is ‘no way’ safe minimum funding could be agreed, or of ensuring that private providers are not involved.
‘If my husband thought I was in favour of this, he’d never speak to me again. Over my dead body,’ she says.
15.59 One speaker says he would have to reconsider his career if GPs took back control of OOH. He says he works until 9pm each night already and is burnt out at age 40.
15:55 As GPs continue to queue for the microphone, the debate’s moved online as well:
Mr Hunt has already showed total contempt for GPs. A vote of no confidence would be polite in comparison. #lmclive
— Annie Farrell (@anniefarre1l) May 24, 2013
15:52 Dr Michelle Drage, chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, says she cannot vote for the no confidence motion, though she would like to. ‘Just do not trust this man,’ she says.
Dr Jacqueline Appleby says the no confidence motion gives LMCs the chance to do something, rather than just moan. She says: ‘If Government’s don’t listen, how will this tie the hands of negotiators?’
— Steve Nowottny (@stevenowottny) May 24, 2013
15:48 One speaker says they cannot agree with the motion calling for a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt. ‘It won’t advance our cause. It’s misguided and meaningless,’ he says, adding that teachers’ representatives vote that they have no confidence in the education secretary every year, and their vote is ignored.
But Dr David Wrigley urges representatives to support the motion, claiming Mr Hunt has been disingenuous in blaming GPs for A&E attendances. ‘He tweets like a teenager on an iPhone,’ he says.
15:42 Dr John Grenville, from Derbyshire LMC, says GPs don’t need to be made responsible for commissioning out of hours. ‘We already are responsible’ he says.
He adds that GPs should be careful what they wish for when calling for Jeremy Hunt to resign. ‘We might get Gove,’ he says.
15.35 Dr Buckman says he has drawn ‘lines in the sand’ on out of hours, insisting that GPs will not ‘shore up’ urgent care and they will not be personally responsible.
He asks LMCs to vote intelligently, so that GPC can go into negotiations with a strong mandate.
He urges conference: ‘Please do not bind the hands of the negotiators. Think about the consequences of what you’re voting on and saying. Whatever happens, GPC will most definitely be kept fully informed of everything were doing in a step by step basis.’
15.32 Dr Buckman says he shares RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada’s view that Mr Hunt’s speech was ‘bitter-sweet’ for GPs. ‘We must be even more cautious than normal in deciding policy,’ he says.
15.31 GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman is kicking off the debate with a short speech. He urges delegates to move on from the anti-GP spin earlier this week and look at what the Government is actually planning. ‘We must now focus on what Mr Hunt had to say,’ he says.
15.29 The big debate of the afternoon - and indeed the entire conference - is about to get underway, and ahead of that the chair of LMCs conference, Dr Michael Ingram, offers some context on the key motion:
Motion 802 is a rescinding motion so if it fails existing policy that GPs do not take responsibility for OOH stands #lmclive
— Michaelingram (@drmikeingram) May 24, 2013
15.20 The medical school-taught principle of ‘first do no harm’ is ‘something that has become increasingly important’, says Dr Anne Jeffreys from Hull and East Yorkshire LMC.
‘The Government has become obsessed with preventing disease,’ she tells the hall, even though patients can suffer mental distress from unnecessary tests and treatments.
‘It is not wrong to screen for dementia, it is morally indefensible,’ she concludes to applause.
Other speakers argue that additional resources must be put in place before any screening takes place. Dr David Brown, from Northumberland LMCs, says local memory clinic has a six month wait currently for assessment.
15.11 We’re into the ‘Clinical and Prescribing’ section, and we start with an old chestnut. Dr David Savage, speaking from Sheffield LMC, warns that ‘nothing has changed’ in terms of ensuring the supply chain of medicines. GPs should be better informed when medicines will be temporarily unavailable, he argues. His motion is carried.
15.02 Motion 79 is on the dangers of ‘referral systems’. Dr Julian Bradley from Buckinghamshire LMC says that ‘sometimes referral systems can add helpful recommendations’ but there are dangers. ‘We have to be very careful when we decide whether to cooperate with these systems,’ he warns.
14.55 Dr Helena McKeown from Wiltshire LMC presents Motion 78, which ‘rejects the imposition of a scheme that demands systematic, prospective agreement by any third party for all non-two week wait consultant referrals’.
‘I am not prepared to have every plan I make scrutinised,’ she says. In a hall full of GPs, it’s an uncontroversial argument and the motion is carried in full.
14.50 Not everyone’s happy with the wording of the motions in the emergency debate taking place shortly.
— Janaka Malwatta (@JanakaMalwatta) May 24, 2013
14.47 Haringey LMC’s Dr Martin Lindsay proposes Motion 77 calling for clarification of what the Caldicott guidance means for GPs, and assurances that GPs will be legally protected against misuse arising from access to data by a third party.
‘We have no control over any IT company or provider with access to our computers,’ says Dr Lindsay, noting that there have been high-profile cases of criminals accessing central NHS records.
The motion is passed in all parts.
14.39 Dr Paul Cundy, speaking for the GPC, says the Government has assured the GPC that patients will have a veto on their data being used - an individual level of control that will be achieved by GPs putting an objection on patients’ records.
Part one of Motion 76 - the seeking of firm assurances bit - is lost after Dr Cundy says that the GPC simply can’t deliver it. The rest of the motion is carried.
14.37 Dr Iain Bonavia, from Cleveland LMC, raises concerns about the implications for patients of data extraction. He urges the GPC ‘to seek firm assurances that patient-identifiable data will only be disclosed with properly informed consent’.
There is hissing from conference as Dr Bonavia relays the Government’s view that simply by being treated on the NHS patients are giving consent to have their data used.
‘We need assurances that data will be released only with proper patient consent,’ he says.
14.35 Dr Paul Cundy, chair of the GPC’s IT subcommittee, says that to argue for full withdrawal of support on this is ‘ostrich syndrome’ - ie it would be to stick the profession’s head in the stand and hope that it goes away. He says that NHS England has taken on board the GPC’s concerns and that withdrawing support would send the wrong message in negotiations.
The motion is passed in all parts with the exception of the part calling for withdrawal of support
14.30 Chris Locke, from Notts LMC, argues that GPC must withdraw support for unrestricted patient access to online medical records by 2015. He’s backed up by Dr Richard Weyell in Cambridgeshire, who asserts the drive will increase pressure on GPs. ‘I believe remote access will lead to more calls, more pressure to explain test results,’ he says.
14.28 Seven elections to GPC to report: Dr Andrew Buist, Dr Helena McKeown, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Dr Fay Wilson, Dr Mary Church and Dr John Canning - plus a new face, Dr Richard van Mellaerts.
14.20 Dr Mark Ironmonger, from Kent LMC, offends all other regions of England with his riposte, although the South West is complimented for its weather.
He suggests an annual Kent conference and the rest can join their Celtic chums.
14.17 Another motion about conference itself. Dr David Wilson, Mid Mersey LMC, calls for equality among member nations - he wants a separate English LMCs conference.
He argues that English GPs’ ‘Celtic colleagues’ are not suffering from the impact of the NHS reforms and there is a danger of the UK-wide conference becoming a substitute for an English version that Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh LMCs are allowed to tag along to.
14.16 Motion 73 to the LMCs conference is all about… the LMCs conference.
Parts one and three, calling for discussion on a more suitable format in future years and potential conflicts of interest to be declared before speaking, are carried. But parts two and four, insisting all speakers declare a party political affiliation and reallocating LMC places based on population size rather than number of GPs, fall.
14:00 Pulse senior reporter Sofia Lind has been onto the Department of Health in the wake of Jeremy Hunt’s speech yesterday. The DH is being very tight-lipped about the detail of the changes - as in, saying nothing at all. But it has pledged to ‘negotiate’ changes to the GP contract, which given past experience, is not insignificant.
13.50 Dr Thomas Kinloch, Mid Mersey LMC, says it’s time to speak out against the ‘unfit fit note’ - in every respect, fit notes have failed. His motion says fit notes would work better if self-certification was for two weeks.
He says patients are still making appointments for fit notes ‘in their droves’
If patients were able to self-certify for two weeks it would cut down on huge number of appointments.
Dr John Ip, Scottish GPC, proposes a motion condemning benefits changes, and says his local Atos office is known as Lourdes - ‘you go in sick and come out cured!’
He calls for better notice from Atos for medical notes before assessments and rails against the appeals process that places extra workload on GPs. ‘It is not our job to sort out the problems created by the Government or Atos,’ he says
13.30 Dr Andrew Littler, Central Lancs LMC, kicks off the afternoon’s proceedings with a motion on safeguarding, calling on the GPC to among other things negotiate more resources for GPs to contribute to multi-disciplinary assessments and child protection plans.
Safeguarding is adding work but the money isn’t available or is drying up, he says.
He argues against criticisms that GPs don’t show at safeguarding conferences - how many times the meetings are at 10 am or between 3 and 5 pm in the evening. ‘Sorry, but we have a day job to do’, he says.
Dr Littler describes a case where critical incident review panel was called - the GP was exonerated by the GP safeguarding lead, but the panel kept coming back. This shows the panels really don’t understand the GP’s role, he argues.
A GP’ duty is to have a high index of suspicion - and put the patient’s interest first. It’s a ‘damned if you, damned if you don’t’ scenario, according to Littler.
The motion is passed overwhelmingly.
13.19 After one and a half days and dozens of motions, there’s perhaps a bit of conference fatigue setting in at the Institute of Education, but the eyes of the entire profession will be on proceedings this afternoon with the emergency debate on out-of-hours responsibility.
One GP tweets:
— The tweeting GP (@Health_Oracle) May 24, 2013
12.33 And conference breaks for lunch, ahead of a busy afternoon.
12:27 Big news now - the conference releases a list of some 24 motions which were submitted ahead of this afternoon’s emergency session on out-of-hours.
In three chosen for debate are:
801 That conference agrees with the Secretary of State that GPs are the patients’ champions; NHS staff are working harder than ever before; and targets and requirements of QOF, QP and enhanced services are getting in the way of dealing with the patient’s agenda.
802 That conference accepts that GPs should take back responsibility for out-of-hours provision, if:
i) GPC negotiators can agree safe guaranteed minimum funding
ii) private providers cannot be involved as GPs will be “responsible” for outcomes
iii) all funding from NHS 111 is transferred to GP out of hours
iv) Out of hours should be run and organised locally to best meet the needs of patients
803 That given the English Secretary of State for Health’s misrepresentation of GPs to the public and press, this conference has no confidence in him
12:20 Now another debate on female representation on GPC, calling for GPC to review the lack of females on the committee.
Proposer Dr Kath Markus, of Derby and Derbyshire LMC, describes frustration about the underrepresentation of women on the GPC and says it is off-putting to see so many men on the committee. It too often comes across as a ‘gentleman’s club’, she adds.
But a queue of speakers are left disappointed after Dr Rob Barnett, representing the GPC asks for support of the conference for the motion.
A few shall we say ‘brave’ males vote against the motion - but it is carried overwhelmingly.
12:14 A pretty good result for the GPC. Conference heavily on the negotiators’ side, but the motion for a new website for GPC is won.
12:09 Dr Laurence Buckman is not happy. ‘I write to GPs every bloody week,’ he declares.
‘If I tell you everything I know, I’ve blown our negotiating position clear out of the water.’
12:05 A very interesting motion now, if slightly naval-gazing – criticising the GPC for its actions on the contract imposition and calling for greater communication between GPC and grassroots GPs.
Dr Anthony O’Brien, Devon LMC, proposes the motion. He said he left LMC annual meetings inspired, only to return back to his practice and not hear anything for ages. Any negotiations are treated as top secret!
He gets big cheers…
11.43 A couple of pointed questions have tackled the thorny issue of female representation in the upper echelons of the GPC.
“Meet the negotiators” session at LMC Conf……row of blokes in suits #lmclive
— Bullet Proof Cardie (@buletproofcardi) May 24, 2013
11:40 Dr Prit Buttar, OxfordshireLMC, asks what the GPC is going to do about the increasing availabillity of dodgy prescription medicines online. Having meetings with the Government is not enough, she says, and there is no incentive to change it unless it becomes their problem instead of ours.
Dr Dean Marshall, GPC negotiator, says what’s going on is scandalous - but the bottom line is the Government needs to do something and there are whole load of different vested interests.
11:35 Dr Deborah Colvin, City and East London LMC, brings up the issue of 0844 numbers. She said her practice went into a contract for 0844 number in good faith but now finding out patients on mobiles having to pay a fortune and has been told she will be in breach of contract if she changes the number - and it will cost £60,000 to get out of it.
But GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey says the practice won’t be in breach and advises that until contract comes up for renegotiation, the practice should offer a local service for those who need it.
11.25 Bedfordshire’s Dr Una Duffy asks, in light of Jeremy Hunt’s speech yesterday and with new work and no new money on the horizon, how can GPC assure GPs they won’t face an ever-increasing workload?
GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey responds carefully, advising delegates not to react to ‘spin’ in the media and pay attention to what Jeremy Hunt actually said.
‘We’re very aware of the risks, but much of this is conjecture being played out in Conservative margins,’ he says.
11.23 Time for delegates to grill GPC negotiators. Before they get started, chair Dr Laurence Buckman reminds the hall GPC owes a debt of gratitude to its ‘back-room’ advisors - much applause for that one.
11.20 Dr John Canning says local areas teams have claimed that GPs can still access occupational health services - but with a charge, because it is not NHS England’s responsibility. The advice to LATs is that they should ‘in principle’ continue services.
‘You know what principles are,’ says Dr Canning. ‘It is things that we have and…’
He pauses, and duly gets a resounding ‘they haven’t’ from the floor.
A motion for GPC to investigate the provision of occupational health services across the UK is carried in all parts.
11.18 An important motion now, and one very relevant to Pulse’s Battling Burnoutcampaign - a multi-part effort focused around the ‘increasing number of GPs suffering from work-related illness’.
Dr Francesco Scaglioni from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LMC says GPs are increasingly suffering from mental health problems and even suicidal ideation. He says 80% seek help from occuptional health services, but asks what happens to the 20% who don’t. Many opt to retire, he says, while some may harm themselves or become a hazard to patients.
He concludes: ‘I move that secure funding for occupational health must be provided by local area teams.’
11.02 Speaking against the motion, Lancashire LMC’s Dr Tony Wiejak jokes that DNAs are a welcome break for a coffee and a chance to catch up and order that book on Amazon (Copperfield might concur…).
More seriously, Dr Wiejak makes the point that it’s the young, mentally ill and disdvantaged patients who tend not to attend. And GPs already have the option of writing to their patients who repeatedly DNA and threaten them with being removed from the list.
The motion is overwhelmingly rejected.
11.00 Controversial one here on placing sanctions (‘financial or otherwise’) on patients who DNA. Dr Billy Park, from Ayrshire and Arran LMC, puts the motion, arguing that this is more about education and information than punishment.
10.59 However, Liverpool LMC’s Dr Andrew Taylor says passing this motion would be a ‘huge error’ and warns renegotiating the contract would lead to a worse deal for GPs.
He says: ‘If we try to futher define our core service we’ll tie ourselves up in read codes. We shouldn’t baste ourselves, stuff ourselves and put ourselves on a plate for our Government. We should not ask our negotiators to renegotiate our contract - we’ll reduce our contract, everything else will be handed out under Section 75, we’ll be up against people we may or may not be able to compete with.’
Dr Neil MacRitchie, representing Grampian LMC, echoes his concern.
He says: ‘I’m questioning the feasibility of renegotiating GPs’ contract in austerity Britain. With this Government? With this Chancellor? A list of services we should not do? This would amount to a BMA blacklist.’
The motion is lost.
10:57 Motion 83. Suffolk LMC’s Dr Christopher Browning calls on the GPC to renegotiate the GMS contract to define core work and produce a list of services that should no longer be provide by primary care. A tight definition would be helpful against the ‘but the practice up the road do it’ argument, he says.
The core contractual requirement for home visits, especially to residential and nursing homes, should be reviewed as alternative sources for payments would be more fair and appropriate, he adds.
10:43 The most important debate today is likely to be the forty-minute emergency session scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the profession’s response to Jeremy Hunt’s out-of-hours proposals. Motions are currently being submitted - and Pulse has learned one of those will be a vote of no confidence in the health secretary. Read the full story here.
10:42 GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden says some PCTs have been ‘playing fast and loose’ with ringfenced premises funding. He asks for some parts of the motion to be taken as a reference as they are right in the middle of negotiations and the GPC do not want their hands tied. The motion is carried.
10.40 Here’s a thought:
#lmcliveReally missing Jeremy Hunt in the conference .Would have been a great debate…
— KS (@sidhuGP) May 24, 2013
10:37 Ten minutes on premises. Dr Jane Lothian of Northumberland LMC says the transfer of PCT-owned premises to NHS Property Services has led to significant increases in costs which may not be reimbursed.
She says: ‘A quick survey of practices in PCT-owned premises shows that they are facing increases of £17,000 which went up to £45,000 for some areas. This represents a 500% increase in charges, with no guarantee of reimbursement.’
‘That degree of funding at best affects the practice’s cashflow, at worst affects the viability of a practice. £17,000 is a receptionist.’
10:31 A motion which says that conference believes that a UK-wide negotiated contract is the only way to ensure equity of health provision across the British Isles, and protect recruitment in all areas, is passed unanimously.
10:27 Delegates pass a motion condemning the Government’s rejection of the DDRB’s funding recommendation, and warning that general practice has ‘become an unattractive profession’ and ‘will soon no longer be financially viable’.
Sessional GP Dr Mary O’Brien, who proposes the motion, says it is commonplace for GPs to emigrate to countries with more attractive working climates and that GPs should not receive less funding per patient than the cost of insuring a cat.
Dr Mark Cocoran, from Avon LMC, says the Government’s rejection of the DDRB recommendation was a measure of how little the political masters value general practice.
‘This is a kick in the teeth, a slap in the face and a poke in the eye. Remember patients are voters and voters is the only word that Government understands,’ he says.
10:10 Motion 59, which tackles the thorny issue of equitable practice funding - and in part one calls for the GPC to ‘expedite a fairer funding formula that can be introduced before 2017. Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs, proposes the motion, arguing that a fairer formula is needed to recognise the needs of the elderly, rural practices and practices in areas of social deprivation.
Dr Deborah Colvin, medical secretary of City & East London LMC, urges conference to support practices in deprived areas, where patients are more likely to suffer mental health problems and health literacy is lower.
‘We must recognise the needs of the elderly, we must support rural practices,’ she says. ‘But we must also support practices in socially deprived areas if we truly want an NHS that offers and equal service to all.’
Bedfordshire Dr Alex Smallwood opposes the motion, arguing that all formulas throw up winners and losers.
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul asks for the motion to be passed as a reference, suggesting there are more pressing issues which the GPC should focus on. But after a tense, tight electronic vote, the entire motion is carried.
10:05 A motion which says the removal of MPIG will lead to the loss of patient services and practices being rendered unviable is passed.
Dr Steve Jones, who proposes the motion on behalf of Cambridgeshire LMC, says: ‘It will result in forced closures and redundancies. It will destabilise some practices.’
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman says this is a complex motion as the money is being redistributed rather than withdrawn completely, but urges delegates to support it.
‘For a large number of practices it’s going to make no difference. There are practices that are going to be destabilised. I urge you to deplore any destabilisation,’ he says. ‘Most practices are not ‘very’ reliant on MPIG, but there are some.’
09:57 Dr John Canning calls for the Government to abolish the ‘contracted out rebate’ in the plans for a new single-tier state retirement pension. This will amount to £80 billion paid to the Treasury as an employer’s tax, he says: ‘That’s £8000 per practice will be taken from you. Is that fair?’
Dr David Bailey, who is also deputy chair of the BMA’s pensions committee, says this is the most important motion of the day: ‘It may look like the nerd’s charter but it’s the most important motion of the day for your wallet.’
The motion is passed.
09:52 Dr Vicky Weeks, from Ealing, Hammersmith, Fulham and Hounslow LMCs, calls the changes ‘indefensible’.
‘Hundreds of queries have come into the pension office as a result of this change,’ she says, urging conference to send a strong message to Government. The motion is passed.
Conference chair Dr Mike Ingram reminds everyone that they only have ten minutes to submit their motions for this afternoon’s emergency debate around health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s remarks about GPs taking back out-of-hours care.
09:47 Dr Priya Joshi, representing Cambridgeshire LMC, supports this motion, and asks the GPC to demand that the NHS pension scheme benefits for locums be reviewed to bring them in line with all other GP members of the scheme.
She said: ‘If your contract runs out on a Friday and you die on a Saturday, your family receive no benefits. Because you’ve died on the wrong day of the week, they’ve lost their NHS pension too. The situation is frankly ridiculous.’
09:45 Sessional GP Dr Mary O’Brien takes to the stage to demand that the Government reverse the decision for practices to pay employers’ locum supperannuation fees.
She said the changes will end up punishing locums: ‘It’s disappointing to see locums be treated in this way. Locums are often vulnerable, taking this role because of childcare responsibilities or illness. 28% of the workforce is made up by locums, we should support them.’
09:40 Dr Richard West, from Suffolk LMC but also chair of the Dispensing Doctors Association, proposes a motion which calls on the GPC to ensure that the Electronic Prescription Service Release 2 (EPS2) is fully implemented for dispensing practices in England, and that pharmacy modules are funded under GP Systems of Choice.
‘All I want is the ability for all patients to use EPS2. It’s safer for patients. It’s better for practices because it’s safer to use,’ he says.
North Wales LMC’s Dr David Morris adds that the motion should be expanded to include non-dispensing practices and the devolved nations. ‘I’m not a dispensing practice and I’m not in England. Please make it for the whole UK.’ he says.
The motion is passed.
09:34 GPC member Dr Andrew Green puts forward a motion attacking secondary care providers’ failure to address discharge and outpatient letters to the appropriate GP. This can be a breach of confidentiality and data protection laws, he says, and patients should determine the recipient of their clinical letters instead.
But Dr Peter Williams, from Derby & Derbyshire LMC, says if patients choose which doctor to go to then certain doctors might always be chosen. Perhaps practice staff should be left to decide who is the best doctor to receive the letter, he says, although he is booed for this view.
The motion is passed after Dr Green responds to Dr Williams - telling him he’s the ‘only one in the room that holds that view’.
09:25 Motion 53 encourages hospital trusts to introduce a simple pro-forma for patients in outpatients detailing full management plan and contact details. The motion also calls for the practice of issuing an outpatient prescription advice sheet to be abolished, and 28-day prescriptions for all new drugs issued instead.
09:10 First thing Friday morning is traditionally the graveyard shift at the LMCs conference, but the hall is encouragingly full as we get underway with a half-hour debate snappily entitled ‘primary and secondary care interface’. It’s about hospitals dumping work on GPs, basically…
09:00 It was a big day at the LMCs conference yesterday, but the bigger news happened down the road, where health secretary Jeremy Hunt indicated that the GP contract is set to change as part of his plans to hand out-of-hours responsibility back to general practice. This afternoon there will be an emergency debate to discuss how the profession should respond.
In the meantime, here are the highlights from the LMCs conference yesterday:
- GPs vote in favour of the GPC investigating the discrepancies in the MRCGP pass rates