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Independents' Day

GP voluntary contract set for 15-year terms and may cover indemnity costs

Exclusive The new voluntary GP contract is set to be on 15-year terms and could include provisions for GP indemnity costs to be paid and an end to CQC inspections at a practice level, according to a GP leader close to the negotiations. 

Manchester LMC chief executive Dr Tracey Vell told the Health + Care conference in London today that the new contract - announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in October last year - will allow GP practices to join up to varying levels, including keeping their core GMS contract.

In Manchester, the LMC is negotiating the local variation - which is set to be close to the national contract - and may include allowing partners to have their estates bought out via a public-private partnerships.

The new national contract will be published at the end of September for rollout in April 2017, and will be flexible for local needs. 

As Pulse has reported, it expected that Manchester will be first to adopt the new voluntary contract for practices with populations of 30,000 and above, and many of the elements of the Manchester version will be applied nationwide. 

Seeking to allay fears over the new contract, Dr Vell said she was involved in the national negotiations and it was 'not so threatening as you think'

She added: 'I am not stupid enough to enter into something with all my colleagues behind me if I have not seen the contract, so that is why I am working with the national team to make the contract. We have not seen it, because they haven’t made it yet. That in itself brings some threats but it also brings some potential gains, that we can influence it.'

The national contract will be open to GP federations and the new models of care outlined in NHS England's Five Year Forward View - multispecialty community providers (MCPs); primary acute systems (PACs); and accountable care organisations (ACOs) - and will require organisations to offer primary and secondary care services. 

It will also involve the organisations offering routine seven-day GP services.

Under the Manchester model, there will be ten ACOs - large organisations that will encompass practices and secondary care organisations - which will hold the 15-year contracts and will allow practices to continue on their own contracts, Dr Vell said.

Deals that are being worked out specially for GPs in Manchester include:

  • Having their estate bought out via a public-private partnership;
  • Having their lease responsibilities taken over by the wider ACO;
  • Having their indemnity covered entirely by the ACO;
  • Not having to deal with CQC on a practice level.

On the specific terms being worked out in Manchester, Dr Vell said: 'You can have a buy-out of your estate. This is what we are doing in GM. GPs want to be bought out of private estate or leases. We are doing that, or making that possible..

She also said the new model would lessen the burden of regulation: 'We regulate the whole population hub at a cost borne by the organisation, the provider organisation, and we do it in that sense which makes more sense to everybody rather than the small business style approach, a very expensive approach for CQC and very expensive for practices.'

Under the plans being worked out, the LMC is looking at indemnity costs, she said.

Dr Vell added: 'We are negotiating a better deal for indemnity that will be a joint between hospital system and corporate indemnity so that we have an indemnified population hub, which means it is cheaper for every named GP in that corporate organisation.

 'We are hoping to remove indemnity from the cost of the GP entirely. That is the plan.'

Readers' comments (19)

  • Although traditinal medical school training was poor re understnading business. SOme how the newst medical graduates have been indoctrinated to be unable to think in business terms. There is so much fear that many o not know how to think about business and how to make an income for themselves.

    Its a real shame as they're walking into salaried roles which will have T&C's eroded rapidly

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  • whats voluntary about it ?? take it or leave it ???

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  • Like the proposed junior doctor contract, the voluntary contract should be put to vote and if the majority of GPs vote against it, as a profession we should unite and decline the contract. The LMC/BMA should consider this.

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  • We are sleep walking in to the contract which need more precise in terms.
    Change of terms of service should be put to vote
    Now Brexit has happened will the government still dismantle and create another system which is untested
    Purchase of premises and leases will cost enormous sums

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  • 30 Jun 2016 9:43pm - HMG won't buy them. They will ask their PLC mates to, and then swan off into lucrative directorships afterwards with long lease agreements and essentially a licence to print cash.

    Choice usually implies an alternative. At present the options are a GMS contract being starved to death, a short term APMS (via tender) a PMS being hacked to death or this shiny new offer.

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  • Not all Mamchester GPs are in support of this. I doubt NHS England have not started preparing this. Negotiating a contract of this complexity takes a lot of time in negotiations. I fear a rushed attempt to agree this contract in the timeframe suggested will result in a contract that is a very bad deal for local GPs. The LMC should represent its members better than this.

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  • 15 year contract? WHY? What is the reason as compared to life long GMS? and, not salaried,
    Any change in the wording of our terms of service? I wonder what is going on?
    The last benefit is our life long GMS job. Even that will be lost.
    Will there be a cap on list size in the new golden age? What if list sizes are increased unilaterally by the ACO.
    .Dr Vell hasn't yet seen the contract Great.
    I am a retired GP.

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  • The first wave of suckers will be heavily bribed . Second wave will get a few extra crumbs of consolation .

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Make a note of that Darling - heavy machine guns for the CQC.

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