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Negotiators: we've no reason to resign

The GPC faces an uphill struggle to win back the trust of a sceptical profession in time for the delayed ballot.

The fiasco over the Carr-Hill formula has left many GPs wary of accepting negotiators' assurances that every practice will win under the renegotiated deal. GP negotiators have pledged to seek a vote of confidence from the GPC and the profession ­ but only if GPs vote No.

They insisted the shambles over the Carr-Hill formula was not a resigning matter and they remained the best people to put the mess right.

GPC chair Dr John Chisholm said neither he nor the rest of the team would go. 'It's certainly not what we intend to do,' he added.

But GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said he would 'assess the situation' if GPs rejected the new deal. He added: 'I would consider my position and offer myself for re-election.'

Fellow joint-deputy chair Dr Simon Fradd said: 'If the profession rejects the proposal we would ask the GPC to consider us for re-election.'

He added: 'I do not deny the perception at the moment is dreadful. But I do not think I have done anything that makes me think I need to resign now. If one was to bring in a new team it would take a long time to pick up on 18 months' work.'

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman refused to say if he would consider resigning. 'As we have seen with the consultants, falling on your sword does not get you through the door to Richmond House for renegotiation.'

Negotiators face a stormy ride at this week's GPC

meeting.

GPC member Dr Kailash Chand, secretary of West Pennine LMC, said: 'GPs are now questioning the capability of the negotiators.'

Dr Rhidian Morris, president of the National Association of Primary Care, said: 'In the days when I negotiated on fundholding I wouldn't have survived five minutes in these circumstances.'

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