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CAMHS won't see you now

GPs declare rescue package 'inadequate' and vote in favour of industrial action

GPs will be canvassed on their willingness to sign undated resignations and take industrial action following a passionate debate at the LMCs conference this morning.

GP leaders at the LMCs Conference today voted in favour of a motion that said that they ‘not accept the General Practice Forward View is an adequate response’ to the crisis in general practice, and ’considers it to be sufficient grounds for a trade dispute’.

The motion, proposed by Dr Jackie Applebee, from Tower Hamlets LMC, follows the call for mass resignations in January, which gave NHS England six months to provide a rescue package.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the motion was about a ‘democratic process’ to see where GPs stand.

Delegates had said that there was not sufficient urgency in the General Practice Forward View, while speakers warned it had failed by not committing any money to core GP funding.

Dr Applebee asked: ’Are we going to accept the demise of general practice? If not now, when? Will there be a general practice to defend if we wait much longer?

’The Government can always find money if the will is there, but is the will there? We have to remember that this is a Government determined to drive through austerity. [Dr Nagpaul] very rightly said yesterday that we must hold NHS England to account, but how?

’They may have belatedly begun to listen but the GP Forward View does not throw the lifeline that practices need right here right now.’

This vote is the profession’s most robust response over whether the General Practice Forward View is adequate as a rescue package.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said yesterday that the number of people leaving general practice suggested that mass resignation is ‘an impending reality, and not a threat’.

Speaking on the motion today, he said: ’The GPC are servants of the democratic process and that democratic process means representing 35,000-40,000 GPs, most of whom are not here today. 

’So for me this motion is about that democratic process. It is about actually asking GPs where they stand. I think we know where they stand, we know exactly what they are experiencing, but it is about actually for the first time getting a real idea of what they want us to do, and what they are prepared to do.

He added that this ’isn’t about threat. He went on: ’I think what is important is that people are leaving, and my proudest moment was, like many others have said, becoming a GP… and then I am sitting here and I am actually worried whether my practice is coping today. And I think many of you here today are worried about whether your practice is coping today.

’I’m worried about looking at my emails. I worry about the two weeks of holiday I would like to take this summer. That is the reality and I think that it is right that we find out from the profession their intent and the reality that is unfolding before us.’

Dr Andrew Green, chair of the GPC clinical and prescribing subcommittee, called on GPs to vote against the motion, saying junior doctors showed the level of support needed to make a stand - which GPs were unlikely to match. 

He said: ’What is the juniors’ greatest strength? It is unity. What would be our greatest mistake? To expose disunity. And that is exactly what a call for industrial action at this time would do. I’m sorry conference but we will not get anywhere near that magical 98% - and that will look like a defeat before we have even started.’

In January, the Special LMC Conference voted overwhelmingly to carry a motion proposing that ‘the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to submit undated resignations’ unless ’negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice’ are ’concluded successfully within six months’.

Motions in full

AGENDA COMMITTEE to be proposed by Tower Hamlets: That conference does not accept the General Practice Forward View is an adequate response to the GPCs statement of need within the BMAs Urgent Prescription for General Practice, and considering this to be sufficient grounds for a trade dispute, unless the government agrees to accept the Urgent Prescription within 3 months of this conference, the GPC should ask the BMA to:

(i) ballot the profession on their willingness to sign undated resignations CARRIED

(ii) ballot the profession on their willingness to take industrial action CARRIED

(iii) ballot the profession as to what forms of industrial action they are prepared to take CARRIED 

(iv) produce a report to practices on the options for taking industrial action that doesn’t breach their contracts CARRIED


AGENDA COMMITTEE to be proposed by Cambridgeshire: That conference with regards to the General Practice Forward View;

(i) Welcomes the acknowledgment of significant past underfunding and commitment to increased spending CARRIED

(ii) believes that most of the investment promised is conditional upon practices delivering transformation and service change CARRIED

(iii) recognises that only some of the demands of the profession have been included, and instructs GPC to continue to press for further dedicated resources to support GPs CARRIED

(iv) does not believe that there is sufficient urgency in the measures described CARRIED

(v) is concerned that the present financial state of the NHS makes the prospects of these financial flows unlikely CARRIED



Readers' comments (87)

  • Vote Yes for GPexit !

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  • They might ballot on something we might do?
    I'm utterly bowled over.

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  • It's easy for the outdated GPs and CCG leaders of yesterday to pontificate in their irrelevance. They have colluded in not only the destruction of the health service but General Practice. This is their fault, and they will sit on their final salary pensions peddling their clinical ignorance whilst the rest of us reap the "benefits" of their reforms. Their opinion must be cast aside and we should stand up for ourselves and our measure as professionals.

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  • Re: not enough profit in primary care for private companies. Of course the private sector has not made inroads in primary acre to any great degree as yet. The government knows general practice is failing and that more money needs to be pumped in. They just don't want it going to G.P's in the current system and would rather defer this increase in funding until many more practices go to the wall. Then you will see the cash flow in via the CCG's and their mates in private companies will scoop up the windfall. I predict you will see failing practices being taken over by private companies with opaque financial arrangements via the CCG who will have little or no choice but to pay whatever is demanded while the surviving G.P's will have to press on with the current underfunding. The CCG will of course not be able to divulge the amounts paid due to some business confidentiality clause. The government have cited this reason before when questions were asked over the decision to use cervarix instead of the superior gardesil for HPV immunisation. Confidential business information.... smacks more of corruption and back handers to me.

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  • it seems the majority of junior doctors and GPs are not happy with their contracts - i wonder what our consultant colleagues feel about their contracts?

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  • The one area not discussed in the proposed GP Forward View is appointment length. I don't think that 10 minutes is sufficient for the current model of working, especially with complex patients. Have just heard about all the wonderful ways in which GPs can positively influence patient's health (in terms of encouraging weight reduction etc) on radio 4, but let's face it. after problem 2 or 3, we are never going to go there in an already over run 10 minute slot. I would like to see funding for 15 minute appointments included. Currently I have unpaid catch ups and still finish surgery late. I am quite capable of running to time, but those extra few minutes means the difference between sorting things out properly and doing a half-baked job with untied loose ends and the need for the patients to come back for a second appointment. While we are in negotiating mode, why not look at longer appointments too?

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  • Peter Swinyard

    The biggest omission from the GP Forward View was the lack of mention of GP Pay. With the loss of net average intended remuneration, which for all its faults set the benchmark, we are seeing a perverse situation in which some partners, with the responsibility for employment of staff and provision of premises and the financial risk involved in these, are paid significantly less than the salaried doctors they employ. There is no motivation in coming to work for nowt as many of us now do, tied to the practice by a mortgage and a last-man-standing scenario. We must accept that GP Pay, un-Daily-Mail as it may be, is vital for the rejuvenation of general practice. Many consultants seem to think that we have a guaranteed income as they do. Oh dear.
    We must avoid another farrago such as the pensions dispute in which the government walked all over us.
    We must find legal ways of withholding services and some near-legals. I think a 14 day period in which no deaths are certified will cause no morbidity. Not filling in form ESA113 will be wonderful. Cautious referral of anyone with a physical sign for a second opinion would be beneficial to patients rather than carrying risk ourselves. Prescribing the best medicines rather than the cheapest for patients would do them no harm.
    And we should have a ceremonial giving of our cardigans to the nearest charity shop.

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  • OH YES!!! "baa, baa, baa, berrrr, berrr, baa baa baa, berrr, berrr!!!" The pro Jeremy Corbyn fan club inside NHS England can see an opportunity which @UKLabour (Twitter) are good at - It's Called; DIVIDE AND RULE!!! So now the old Labour socialists and the people of the country can see what this dispute is really about: "MONEY MONEY MONEY, MUST BE FUNNY IN A RICH MAN'S WORLD!" In the end, despite all the sheep-like talk, it was all about money!!!

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  • Unlike junior doctors who have a contract of employment, it is very difficult for independant contractors to take'industrial action' but they can refuse to comply with their contract which is once only act - make sure you are better advised by your union before you jump

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  • I think this is a turning point. I've no doubt that GPs are a different animal from JDs but I think those that are against this motion underestimate the strength of feeling out there amongst the grassrots (not a spelling mistake).

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