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Gold, incentives and meh

We have ‘listened, acted and delivered’ in new contracts, says GPC chair

The BMA has ‘delivered’ on a number of GP demands - including reducing workload, increasing the workforce and bringing an end to austerity - the GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey will tell the LMC UK conference today.

Speaking in Belfast, Dr Vautrey will tell delegates from the four nations that general practice is ‘turning a corner’ following new contracts in England and Scotland, and changes in both Wales and Northern Ireland.

The GPC has not ‘flinched from the big challenges you set us’ and forced the Government to ‘not just talk about it but to do it’, Dr Vautrey will say.

Earlier this year, the new five-year GP contract in England was released, with vast changes to general practice, including mandated primary care networks of 30 – 50,000 patients, which practices will get funding to form.

The new Scottish contract was brought in last year, after 72% of GPs backed the deal, and included direct reimbursement of practice and staff expenses, a move away from GPs owning premises and a focus on the GP as an expert medical generalist at the head of a multidisciplinary team.

Addressing the conference, Dr Vautrey is set to say: ‘You wanted an end to annual contract tweaks and changes, you wanted a reduction in workload and an increase in workforce, you wanted to us to enable practices to respond to the growing digital challenges, and above all you wanted us to bring an end to over a decade of austerity, that has been so damaging for general practice and seen investment as a share of NHS spending fall at the same time the pressures on all us grow.

‘I’m here to tell you now that we’ve listened, we’ve acted and we have delivered.

‘With major contract changes in Scotland, England and increasingly elsewhere in the UK, we have not flinched from the big challenges you set us but we have set about convincing governments across the UK of the urgent need to invest in general practice and community-based services, and to not just talk about it but to do it.’

Dr Vautrey will then acknowledge that ‘much that needs and must be done’.

Talking about the response to the contract that he has seen at the roadshow events, Dr Vautrey will say: ‘I’ve had a real sense that growing numbers of GPs believe that we are finally turning a corner. There is light ahead of us.’

‘We are not there yet. We are far from complacent. There is much that needs and must be done. But, as GPCs and LMCs together, we will listen, we will act and we will deliver,’ he will add. 

Readers' comments (15)

  • I just see extra work, more time spent in meetings, more management plus a quiet redefining of certain services as essential instead of additional (and so optional).

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  • Maybe he is right, lots more people taking up training. Perhaps only the few of who are completely exhausted and see the horrors do these posts.
    Maybe there are lots of contented GPs out there who are so happy they don't read all this sad stuff.
    Maybe we are just dinosaurs.
    Only time will tell.

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  • For one (I might be the only one) I agree with him.

    I think over the next 12 months a 10000 GP practice will benefit from
    92p/ patient uplift minus 45p/ patient less extended hours = 47p/ patient
    1.50 patient for simply signing up to do the network business, even if your network does no work, employs nobody and does not actually do anything.
    I wont include the funding for network admin - as that does not help the practice run, but it is funded and fairly generously.
    AND the 10 half time GPs that run that practice will have their indemnity reduced from 8000 to 800 saving 70000 - or 7 pounds per patient
    Minus losing 10000 in the partial indemnity refund - so more like 60000 or 6 pounds per patient.

    So an uplift total of
    0.47+1.5+6 = 8 pounds per patient.

    When was the last time GPs had an uplift of anywhere near 8 pounds/ patient?

    There might be some boring admin with networks - but making them effective is just an opportunity and totally optional. The extended hours should just be devolved down, and the network can decline to employ anyone and you will be fine. If you 'choose' to have a 70% discount on employing staff via the network, that sounds like a good deal to me.... but it is optional.

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  • Less money yes. Reduced workload? Really? Still drowning under it and keen to know when we will notice any change!!

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  • Vinci Ho

    I do not think it is fair to say BMA/GPC had done absolutely nothing to ‘help’ . In effect , any changes brought forward at this dire stage of general practice , can be criticised as useless . I understand that some might even fancy some kind of ‘scorched earth’ politics to wipe out and withdraw from this current model of NHS general practice. Reality is somewhere in the middle between the two extremes.
    One thing for sure to me is , this 5 year ‘deal’ should be judged subjectively and objectively( hence , evidently) on survival , not ‘glory’ , of general practice. We need people to stay as well as to come in this career . If survival is victory, this is how we judge its success . If British politics is at its all time low (because of you know what ), so is our profession. Perhaps , live or let die , BMA/GPC knows very well , deep down , that this is the ‘last chance’.......

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