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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs still in favour of mass resignation despite support package

Exclusive Almost half of GPs are still willing to submit undated resignations, despite the multibillion-pound ‘Forward View’ announced by NHS England last week.

A Pulse survey of 524 English GPs found that 45% would still support mass resignation from the NHS due to the current state of general practice, while a further one in four are undecided.

This is only a small decrease on the 49% who said that they would be willing to resign their contracts in December 2015.

The Special LMC Conference in January voted for the GPC to canvass support for submitting undated resignation letters if the Government fails to implement a ‘rescue package’ for general practice within six months.

Last week, Pulse exclusively revealed that the GPC was still considering the threat of mass resignation following the announcement of the General Practice Forward View, which committed £2.4bn extra funding a year by 2020 plus a £500m support package.

Today’s poll reveals that GP support for the so-called ‘nuclear option’ is maintained, with the percentage of GPs ruling mass resignation out decreasing from 35% in December to 29% today.

The number of GPs who are undecided has increased, with a separate question revealing that 48% of GPs are unsure on their support of the Forward View. Of the rest, exactly the same number support the Forward View as oppose it. 

GPs said that the Forward View didn’t provide enough emergency funding.

Dr Ben Garland, a GP partner in north London, said: ‘I was waiting to see what it contained. Three make or break points were ignored: Crown indemnity; new money now to stave off disaster; stop all cost dumping from secondary care. As none of these have occurred I have announce my resignation as of August 2017, aged 56.’

Dr Robert Addlestone, a GP partner in Leeds, said: ‘It’s a difficult question. The public might not support us if we resign en masse, but as time goes on and they can’t get an appointment to see a GP maybe the penny will drop eventually and they will understand the dire state of general practice.’

However, Dr Elizabeth Jones, a GP partner in Norfolk, said: ‘I am not sure what this would achieve. We live in a different world than the 1960s when mass resignation was threatened. And the private providers are hovering like vultures.’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul last week told Pulse that ‘the clock was still ticking’ on the potential for mass resignation.

He said: ’We will make sure we hold NHS England to account to deliver on [the proposals], but it is weak in terms of immediate help for practices and that’s something we will be lobbying for and negotiating for in coming months.’

On the other hand, the RCGP warmly welcomed the Forward View, describing it as perhaps the ‘most significant announcement for general practice since the 1960s’.

Do you support the General Practice Forward View?

Yes: 26% (137)

No: 26% (137)

Don’t know: 52% (250)

Following the announcement of the General Practice Forward View, would you support mass resignation from the NHS due to the current state of general practice?

Yes: 45% (233)

No: 29% (155)

Don’t know: 26% (136)

The survey was launched on 28 April 2016, collating responses using the SurveyMonkey tool. The 24 questions asked covered a wide range of GP topics, to avoid selection bias on one issue. The survey was advertised to readers via our website and email newsletter, with a prize draw for a Samsung HD TV as an incentive to complete the survey. A total of 524 GPs answered this question. 

Readers' comments (32)

  • Jezza will thank the juniors for their support if we do.

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  • I'm all for action - but what do I do if I resign? I still need to pay the bills

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  • You cardigans are all gutless...talk the talk , we'll see if you can walk the walk!

    Nowhere to run or to hide....you are finished!
    Thank you Lord HUNT

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  • Dear GP Partner at 3.49.

    Public will still need GP. We all will have to start providing services directly to public and they will pay for each contact till government makes some sort of deal. Surely there will be some period of anxiety but at least we will find definitive solution and get paid properly for job we do and efforts we put in.

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  • "Anonymous | GP registrar29 Apr 2016 3:53pm

    You cardigans are all gutless...talk the talk , we'll see if you can walk the walk!

    Nowhere to run or to hide....you are finished!
    Thank you Lord HUNT"

    Congratulations on the award for cramming the most cliches into one post without actually saying anything! Fabulous work!

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner29 Apr 2016 3:49pm

    i think private GPs financially do well ? google private Gp rates to see. this is in-spite of competition of the free at the point of use NHS.

    as demand further increase with shrinking supply more will turn to independent private GPs. No doctor should worry about being out of a job. There is also locum demand or careers allied to healthcare. The UK is short of STEM grads so really you can choose what you want to do. The main issue that is raised by friends who are partners is that they are tied into a difficult contract i.e. premises, staff or lease and this is the barrier not job prospects.

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  • If we all left we could provide our services privately and knowing our patients do a Robin Hood......

    Working for any employer- THEY will take their margins, whilst we mustn't cos we were brought up to be doormats?
    Anyone one else disagree?

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  • Anonymous | GP registrar29 Apr 2016 3:53pm

    'You cardigans are all gutless...talk the talk , we'll see if you can walk the walk!

    Nowhere to run or to hide....you are finished!
    Thank you Lord HUNT'

    Whereas posting as anonymous really shows him.
    Of course there is the issue that most of my patients could not afford even the small amount we would charge for an appointment - this is why the NHS was set up.

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  • @Peter Mcevedy | GP Partner29 Apr 2016 5:42pm

    They could if taxes were reduced in line with the amount the government would suddenly save by not having to pay for GPs themselves.

    I wonder if that would actually happen though....

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  • The support package is NOT a 'support package' . It's a burden that will generate more demand without any increase to core funding. You GP's have been seriously short changed!

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