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Independents' Day

GPC negotiating for end to annual 'tinkering' with GP contract

Exclusive The GPC is pushing in contract negotiations this year for GP practices to be given longer-term deals that are not subject to annual ‘tinkering’, Pulse can reveal.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that it is using the negotiations for the 2016/17 contract to tell the DH that annual change to GP terms and conditions are harming general practice, and that it wants a more settled contract.

He cited the example of Scotland, which has agreed to a three-year deal starting in 2017.

Dr Nagpaul said the contract negotiations are continuing as usual for 2016/17 but could not confirm whether rumours that the Government was pushing for seven-day access to be a contractual requirement in the new deal were true.

The GPC chair had previously told Pulse that his priorities for the next contract negotiations were ‘stability’ and to ’increase core funding in the contract and reduce micro-management’. Dr Nagpaul told Pulse in August that he was ‘happy to discuss’ an extension to current GP opening hours where ‘appropriate’, but not as part of the GP contract.

The annual round of GP contract negotiations has been complicated by the Prime Minister announcing a new voluntary contract for GPs in September, that would only be open to practices or federations with lists of at least 30,000 patients and would require seven-day opening to be provided.

Dr Nagpaul told Pulse: ‘There are big issues facing general practice. So while we are having negotiations on 2016/17, we are having dialogue about the bigger issues around workload, recruitment, the implications of local contracts, new models, etc. We have to look at negotiations in a new context.’

He added that the GPC ‘realise that tinkering with the contract each year is adding to GPs work’. As a result, he said: ‘Discussions on 2016/17 contract negotiations are being had – but that is not the main part of the negotiations.’

Dr Nagpaul cited the example of Scotland. He said: ‘There is recognition about this in the UK. For example, in Scotland they didn’t make any changes because they recognised they needed to look for something more sustainable.’

At the GPC meeting on Thursday, representatives voted unanimously in favour of a motion calling for a special meeting of LMCs to discuss the crisis in general practice, including the future of the GMS contract.

Readers' comments (18)

  • Dr Nagpaul a bit of advice from someone suffering from learned heplessness. Don't make the contract negotiation successful as we'll be f****d for at least 10 years following outcome! The only way forward now is withdrawal of service until funding changes. I am helpless as one, altogether something may happen. We can't supply the essential on 100quid a patient a year especially as 10% of that is on indemnity fees. Good luck.

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  • Too late mate. The war is in full swing and we do not need you.

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  • There is only one thing that GPs can do to stop this destruction and that is messing about just tell your union we want action!

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  • I see the government today (on the TV news) will be putting a limit on the money used for NHS locums and says it will save billion+ in the next three years.
    This is very clever and great spin by them as it looks like they are trying to save money but in reality it will make it that much easier to break up the NHS.
    They are on a role and we need to be much tougher in contract negociations, if we are not already too late....

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  • Negotiations? What negotiations? Is that what you call it when one party tells the other what to do? The GPC has no teeth and is simply trying to ride the militant wave created by the junior doctors who have shown far more unity and strength than GP’s ever have. The ineffectual BMA has failed GP’s repeatedly for more than a decade and the damage is done. It’s all too late and anyone with sense will or will have already, made the decision to ditch the contract.
    Oh yes and this idea that the NHS can limit locum use. That would be counterproductive, completely impossible to police in general practice and would probably be unlawful. Why would they be trying to frighten us I wonder? Is it because the GMS/PMS contracts that GP’s hold so dear are actually so toxic that the Government now has to use scare tactics to prevent us from abandoning them?
    Ditch the contract comrades!

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  • This government doesnt negotiate it imposes end cannot negotiate with them.What do the grassroots want Chand.

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  • LMC officials have formed Federations and helped the government undermine the whole system betraying trust. GPC has been booted and is plain zero but feels it is in a position to negotiate. Wake up, this is pathetic. Time to wake up to your impotence- do we really need you or the BMA or RCGP for that matter?

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  • Locum agencies provide critical back up when the NHS's own systems inevitably fail. In some ways Locums are the NHS's biggest asset. The NHS will disintegrate without them, no cover at all means no patient care. Market forces are what the Govt seems to want... they are all over the shop wrecking the NHS from top to bottom.

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  • Re: Anonymous | GP Partner23 Nov 2015 11:53am
    You are absolutely right. We have been sold down the river by our so called leaders – BMA, LMC, RCGP. Only last week, Chand Nagpaul and RCGP welcomed pharmacists cherry picking at our work. Obviously nicking our flu vaccine income is not enough for these retailers.
    Federations are a vehicle for exploiting GP’s as part of a very obvious plan by NHSE. Enhanced services withdrawn to create a financial hole in practice finances are then offered back with the proviso that practices abandon their autonomy and join a group led by local Judas types who have their own money grabbing, megalomanic agendas.

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  • Insultrial action like our junior colleagues is what is needed

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