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BMA issues new support package to help GP practices lobby MPs and local media

The BMA has today announced a new package for practices across England, which it says is aimed at ‘reversing the tide that is threatening to engulf the profession’.

A pack will be sent out to practices across the country in the next few weeks, which will include guidance on legally reducing workload, advice on how to federate, posters and car stickers, among other things.

The BMA said the campaign – entitled ‘An urgent prescription for general practice’ – is in ‘direct response to the calls we have been receiving at recent conferences’.

The announcement comes ahead of the special LMC conference taking place this weekend, which will consider motions on all GPs submitting undated resignations unless the Government tackles the crisis facing general practice.

Pulse will be reporting live from the Special LMC Conference this Saturday. Follow all the developments at

Pulse today revealed that the number of surgeries closing is continuing to increase due to pressures around funding and recruitment.

The BMA said that its new pack is aimed at ‘ensuring a safe and sustainable general practice’ by promoting five principles: a safe, manageable workload; more time with patients; increased practice funding; more staff to support GPs; and less box ticking.

Dr Beth McCarron, a GPC executive team member, said the profession is struggling under the weight of ‘incredible pressures’ from ‘declining funding, rising patient demand, staff shortages and the excessive burden being placed on it by outside bodies, such as the CQC’.

She added: ‘This crisis has been the catalyst for a new project to provide in-depth support to grassroots GPs that will be sent to GP practices across England.’

The resource pack was not a ‘magic bullet’ to solve the ills of general practice, she said, as this would require the Government to increase funding.

However, she added: ‘This resource pack, coupled with local and significant national campaigning, will allow GPs to begin fighting back, both in the practical and public sense, and reverse the tide that is threatening to overwhelm the profession.’

What will the pack contain?

prescription for general practice

Prescription for general practice

In practical terms, the pack sent to practices will contain:

  • The BMA’s Managing Workload guidance, which gives advice on how to legally and practically reduce workload while maintaining patient safety.
  • Advice on how to begin exploring federating and networking with other practices to help manage workload.
  • GPC’s visions for the future of general practice.
  • ‘How to’ guidance for lobbying local politicians, including template letters for contacting local MPs about the pressures facing local services.
  • Template press letter to send to the local media.
  • Pre-printed postcards for patients to complete to be submitted to local MPs pledging their support and prescription for change.
  • ‘Prescription for general practice’ poster and car stickers.

For more on the campaign, and the special LMC conference, read our interview with GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul


Readers' comments (25)

  • WOW, do you feel less guilty for being so useless now my dear BMA? Just another sticking plaster this is. Surprise!

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  • The BMA is just balmy. More stickers !!! just great.
    BMA, GPC if you stood up first and defined safety in numbers to be seen each day, hours worked per week, hours worked continuously, negotiated list closure for safety on statement rather than application, if you could only negotiate rather than send sticking plaster stickers like your GP cares.
    Just balmy. Everyone is leaving and those that cannot are depressed BMA. These are your members. Please help. NO stickers.

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  • I am almost speechless.
    "advice on how to federate, posters and car stickers"
    Is this some sort of sick joke?

    Ditch the contract comrades!

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  • I'd like the GPC and BMA to produce practical guidance and a plan for practices in the event that we refuse to sign whatever new contract arrives. In 2004 we were merely told that if we refused to sign, we could not open on the following day.

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  • More of the same.

    Let's be realistic. This government is not going to put any more money into primary care.

    The BMA should be working on negotiating with PPP, BUPA, Axa etc to develop a nationwide private insurance package that patients can take out. Then we can gradually move to a better system for patients and clinicians. NHS primary care is not currently safe for patients or staff.

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  • To little too late. General Practice is is in the palliative phase. Doing anything now is causing more distress. Just let it pass in peace now.

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  • The government is committed to cutting general practice funding to the bone. Practices are failing as a result. BMA response stickers- that won't work. I have been told that family physicians can't strike. If that is the case - hand over all your contracts at the same time to the government and tell them patients will now have to pay if they want to see you. If patients want to see you charge them per appointment. Go back to the way it was before this horrible slavery contract. Otherwise be ready to make bricks without straw.

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  • Can I give the prescription via syringe driver?

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  • 27 Jan 2016 1:40pm

    agree - need sensible exit plan.

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  • Med student - inexperience speaking perhaps but general practice is increasingly important as hospital doctors are increasingly specialised and secondary care costs are so high. We need to resuscitate it, not give it a shove in passing.

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  • Stupid BMA with it's successive poster campaign.
    Wish they'd do something more sensible than lick Hunt's bottom and sabotage junior doctors' strik action.

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  • @12:49

    It doesn't matter what offer is on the table, the UK is finished!

    Ditch the country comrades!!!!

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  • balance will be restored - we are going to have a reduced GP workforce who will have to work longer hours (probably back to 24/7), for much lower pay (?50k) and take on much higher risk, higher expenses (mdu 20k), higher penalties for failure (GMC/litigation/imprisonment). The rest will RELP. That's all that's going to happen. The big question is how the remaining few in the NHS will manage? will they die of stress before they get struck off?

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  • Hah! So The BMA are finally starting to realise their cushy days are coming to an end as doctors flee the profession. It is what comes from being as effective as a .......

    They completely failed with helping me when I needed it as they were too fearful of challenging the government even for something which should have been common sense and quite obvious. As a result I left the profession as I could not take on some of the more ridiculous issues of revalidation by myself and I was not going to sign up to what was on the table.
    If you dont work for your customers then you will make yourself obselete!

    So ....

    Ditch the BMA comrades!!!!

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  • Or we might have a reduced workforce able to set its own terms to maintain an NHS GP presence, thus limiting work taken on, increasing fees and off-loading indemnity, etc. I still think the politicians needs us more than we need them but it's partly up to patients (voters) to take an active part. Talking down the prospects can be self-fulfilling.

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  • GP Partner27 Jan 2016 6:36pm

    i'm sadly not so optimistic.

    1. the public want a service - they don't care who from.

    2. those that accept the oncoming t&cs implies that they are not the type to be militant or rebel. Rebellious types are already leaving / have left. so the assumption is that those who are left in the NHS will be the compliant and easily controlled - just what that the state always wanted.

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  • I thought it was the job of the BMA to be proactive and to protect doctors. Why are they looking to doctors to do their job for them? While it is good to have stickers to raise general awareness of a problem, where have they been over the past years when terms and contracts were negociated???
    Also they mention all the different difficulties doctors are under but I cant remember hearing the BMA complain much before?
    Why have they not been more active. It just seems like way too little way too late!
    I also do not understand the BMA's negociations for the junior doctors. Why are they giving in so soon???
    So many questions to why the paid defenders of our noble profession have completely failed in protecting it in this country. One would have thought such a profession would be easy to protect. Even the current negociations for the junior doctors are useless as they are not even asking for better conditions, just conditions which will end up being worse than the current ones. What good is that for the future?????

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  • More junk by the BMA. It has done this before. I gave notices of reducing workload but was told by the BMA that I could not, to my face.

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  • Useless arn't they! I feel annoued about paying them for so many years before I saw the light and stopped my membership. Then they could not even do this properly as they kept taking my fees for 6 months afterwards till I stopped them again.

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  • Really !! If this is what BMA comes up with in the face of unprecedented crisis I rest my case .We are officially doomed .😞

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