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Gold, incentives and meh

LMCs to debate BMA model contract for salaried GPs

By Steve Nowottny

The future of the BMA's model contact for salaried GPs looks set to be fiercely debated by GP leaders, after an LMC leader submitted a motion to this year's conference calling for a ‘radical revision' of its terms.

Dr Dermot Kenny, vice chair of Greenwich LMC, is calling for the contract to be completely overhauled, arguing that it is unworkable for partners.

The call comes amid mounting pressure for a rethink of the contract, first drawn up in 2003. Last October the Law for Business Corporation prompted a furious row after issuing step-by-step guidance to partners on how to ‘escape the dreaded' model contract, which it argued ‘works entirely in favour of the employee'.

Several senior GPC members have also broken ranks and called for its terms to be revised.

Dr Kenny's motion reads: ‘That conference is concerned that some of the provisions in the model contract of employment for salaried doctors are totally unrealistic, and calls for a radical revision.'

Dr Kenny said he was particularly opposed to the contract's stipulation of a 37.5 hour working week and one session a week being reserved for CPD.

‘I don't think that's realistic to be honest and I don't think that would exist in other professional fields,' he said.

‘My views are seen as old fashioned views… but I believe my feeling about this will be reflected in a lot of normal working GPs around the country.'

‘I fully acknowledge that people have been exploited in the past, and absolutely they should be protected, but the problem is to protect the minority who have been exploited we're restricting the majority.'

But the LMCs conference will also debate calls for greater protection of salaried GPs, with one motion submitted through Camden and Islington LMC condemning ‘the current attitude of certain employing practices which are offering unfair and unfavourable working conditions'.

Dr Judith Harvey, a freelance GP in north London, said: ‘A lot of people come off their training schemes with a very high opinion of their colleagues and then start being employed, sometimes by the same colleagues - and find that this charming, people-orientated sympathetic trainer is actually a pretty unpleasant employer.'

The BMA have advised that salaried GPs should be given a pay increase of at least 1.5% following this year's GP pay award.

The LMCs conference will debate the future of the BMA model contract for salaried GPs The LMCs conference will debate the future of the BMA model contract for salaried GPs

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