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Independents' Day

LMCs to vote on practices declaring 'shutdowns' in times of system stress

GP leaders are set to vote on whether they can declare ‘major incidents’ and ‘capacity shutdowns’, similar to A&E departments, at the LMCs Conference tomorrow.

LMCs from across the UK will also vote on whether to move to a salaried only service, and whether the QOF should be scrapped.

The morning session will also see a motion on whether there should be a ‘staff grade’ of GP, who could practise independently without having passed the MRCGP exam.

The motion on practice shutdowns, proposed by the Devon conference region, demands that practices should be able to declare major incidents and capacity shutdowns in a similar manner to A&E, supported by equal access to emergency resources at times of system stress.

Currently hospitals are able to declare ‘major’ or ‘significant’ incidents, for example when A&E departments struggle to cope, as happened in the 2014-15 winter, when planned operations were cancelled and patients were told to attend A&E only in extreme emergency.

The same motion also calls for practices to have the right to close their list when they decide that it is unsafe to take on more patients, and that they should receive increased funding to be able to offer standard consultation times of 15 minutes.

The motion on whether general practice should become salaried only will also be debated tomorrow.

The Liverpool conference region proposes that ‘the model of the self-employed independent practitioner has been so eroded by the current contract and regulatory regime, that the GPC should be exploring the establishment of a fully costed and salaried GP service’.

A motion from the Gloucestershire conference region suggests that patient care would be improved if practices were allowed to offer ‘top up’ private services to their NHS patients. The motion requests that the GPC include this in contract negotiations.

Elsewhere, a motion from the Cleveland conference region proposes that the QOF is unfit for purpose and ‘should be scrapped with the money transferred into the global sum’.

One of the suggestions to boost GP recruitment is to introduce a ‘staff grade’ of GP. This grade of staff would be able to practise safely independently even though they had not reached the standard of the MRCGP exam.

Read the agenda in full here

Readers' comments (7)

  • ‘staff grade’ = exploitation, will be expected to do same work for less pay. I've seen it in secondary care where enthusiastic foreign doctors are encouraged to come to train in the UK. they are then given poor contracts and denied promotion to consultant status. They are then stuck as staff grade and exploited.

    also many GP Partners don't have MRCGP so are they going to get demoted?

    c'mon have some imagination -> vote for private / part nhs model. i would have private list with nhs walk ins - simple.

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  • voting that surgeries shut down won't work 'cos we will be caught out by our 'duty' to serve - they will then say we have to have partners 'on call' to come in and help.

    why not vote to have proper control on lists i.e. if practices can't cope allow them to close lists. also if there are cases where the Dr-patient relationship breaks down - given that patients have choice and can register anywhere (u remember that government gem) then why not make it easier for practices to remove patients off the list as it would be better for both parties?

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  • Vinci Ho

    Extraordinary time in history
    Extraordinary circumstances
    Extraordinary fate??

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  • Extraordinary mix of part-private, co-payment and insurance might just be on the cards, Vinci Ho?

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  • At last there appears to be some hope for General Practice.

    Bury the Partnership model as soon as possible.

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  • I'm a full time GP partner and make around £130,000 per year.It does get stressful trying to work out how to spend all that money.Just been debating whether to take the family on a skiing trip to the Klosters in the Swiss Alps or Aspen,Colorado?Any suggestions?

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  • Swiss alps - then you can open a numbered Swiss account and dodge all the tax like me. I'm a private GP for Goldman -Sachs . I'm also lazy and greedy .

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