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GP leaders water down threat of 'mass resignations'

GP leaders have watered down a motion to request GPs resign en masse, set to be voted on later today at the Special LMC Conference.

The motion originally suggested that ‘undated resignations from the current NHS contracts held by GPs should be requested’ in the case that the Government did not provide an adequate rescue package to general practice within six months of the Special LMC Conference.

Instead the motion now only suggests that ‘the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to to submit undated resignations’.

As part of the same motion, LMC delegates will still vote on suggestions that the GPC identifies ‘actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts’ and consider a ballot of GPs ‘regarding what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients’, should the Government not agree to a suitable rescue deal.

A Pulse survey of more than 900 GPs carried out at the end of last year revealed that half (49%) of GPs support mass resignation from the NHS in protest at the current state of general practice.

Today’s Special LMC Conference – the first one called since 2003 – will look specifically at ‘what actions are needed to ensure GPs can deliver a safe and sustainable service’ amid concerns over workforce, workload and defunding of general practice.

It comes as the Department of Health has promised a package of ’substantial funding and support’ as part of a big announcement due next month. Earlier this week, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said this ‘wide-ranging’ package would include ’measures on workforce, workload and service redesign’.

The conference opened this morning with a passionate speech from GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul who said that general practice is now ‘in a state of emergency’.

The amended motion in full

That conference instructs GPC that should negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice not be concluded successfully within 6 months of the end of this conference:

(i) actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts must be identified to the profession

(ii) a ballot of GPs should be considered regarding what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients

(iii) the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to to submit undated resignations

Source: BMA

 

Readers' comments (18)

  • Vinci Ho

    Wait for the voting results
    Realistically , en mass resignation is likely to be a rhetoric but a non-cooperation campaign with a list of possible 'activities' should be debated(of course , my insisting GP commissioners to walk out is one of them; perhaps all OOH doctors going on strike??)

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  • Any reason why all practising GPs are not simply asked what they want rather than this small group of GP politicians seemingly not acting on our behalf?

    This seems to just be going around in circles and each full turn involves more and more cuts and more and more misery / resignations / jumping ship etc until there will be nothing left.

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  • I told you the LMC are 'all talk, no action'.
    GP's get what they deserve.

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  • Local LMC leaders are promoting Federations, to create more leaders and to implement Jeremy Hunts 7 days opening dream. I don't know whom to trust.

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  • a lot of us predicted there would be no change. so nothing new here. got to secure those pensions.

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  • What was stopping this bunch of hairdryers from canvassing opinion ahead of their meeting? Absolutely pathetic delaying tactics whilst the clock ticks towards so many of their retirements.
    Don't wait for this lot to deliver anything. They are the same generation that chose not to strike over pensions because they were alright Jack.

    Ditch the contract comrades!

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  • The problem is that LMC leaders are more likely to be leaders of federations and CCG board members. They are less likely to be at the coalface dealing with 100 consultations a day. So the prospect of more consultations per day and 7 day working is less likely to bother them.

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  • To 1.54 your assumption may be correct in some cases but certainly not in mine. I sit on a CCG board and do my utmost to limit the damage inflicted by top-down edicts.
    There are also people who are just as you describe but please don’t label us all negatively. Not only do we know what the coalface is like, we can do our best to prevent CCG’s from making decisions that will worsen that situation, albeit that our power to do this is limited. The fact is we would have even less influence if we were outside of CCGs.

    Federations are a different matter and I just don’t understand why anyone would be a part of them. What is the benefit of being herded into a group and losing your autonomy whilst retaining responsibility?

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  • 'Federations are a different matter and I just don’t understand why anyone would be a part of them. What is the benefit of being herded into a group and losing your autonomy whilst retaining responsibility?'

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  • The point is that there are always some GPs that will see opportunity to gather power by leading a large Federated GP group. Unfortunately power corrupts and so there is always the opportunity for making money or decreasing personal workload at the coalface. In fact there is a possibility of having a lot more power and control by leading a GP Federation, compared to being a CCG board member

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