This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Negotiators' score draw

Global sums frozen. No increase in pounds per quality point. Easy quality indicators scrapped and replaced with new markers. Pensions under threat.

Global sums frozen. No increase in pounds per quality point. Easy quality indicators scrapped and replaced with new markers. Pensions under threat.

When the bald facts of the contract review are stated, it's clear the deal can never be called a good one for GPs.

GPs will be doing more work for less money in real terms and the failure to increase global sums for the third year running is a worrying trend. But it would be over-simplistic to condemn the deal and the GPC negotiators who agreed it.

Sly and odious questions

The review has been conducted against a backdrop of parlous NHS finances and with Gordon Brown ­ very much the elephant in the room during the negotiations ­ demanding savings across the public sector.

Then there is the substantial recent pay rise for most GPs. This was deserved and long overdue. And the Government's question-marks about 'value for money' are sly and odious. But even the most hard-nosed GP would admit such increases were not sustainable.

Given the current climate, the GPC had it all to do simply to hang on to the gains they secured in the original contract.

Then they scored a clear victory. For ministers, to let that happen once was careless. To let it happen again was unthinkable.

So it is to the negotiators' credit that they managed a score draw in a contest played in very unfavourable conditions and which could have brought a heavy defeat.

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say