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GPs go forth

Less than one in five GPs would have voted for the GP contract

Only 15% of GPs would have approved the new five-year GP contract if it had been put to ballot, according to a survey.

Out of the 810 GPs surveyed, 45% said they would have not voted for the new contract and 40% said they didn’t know.

It comes as BMA members have voted against the ‘immediate’ withdrawal of the GP contract, after a motion was put forward at the body's annual representative meeting in Belfast this week.

The contract, introduced in April and negotiated by the BMA and NHS England, brings in a raft of changed - including financial incentives to join primary care networks and a new state-backed indemnity scheme paid for out of the global sum. 

At yesterday's BMA meeting, the BMA’s London Regional Council, who put forward the motion, said they were ‘opposed’ to the framework agreement and insisted that GPs and trainee GPs should be allowed to vote on it.

It said: ‘That this meeting believes this heist of GP registered NHS patients and their capitated budgets through dint of making primary care contract holders hastily sign network contracts and agreements by May 2019, suggests that the real agenda of GP contract change is to "evolve" independent GP practices into extinction over five years and replace them with ICS-run primary care.’

In Pulse’s survey, GPs were asked whether they would have voted in favour of the contract if balloted.

One respondent commented: ‘No, not ever. It’s appalling. Extra work, extra responsibility, extra liability, dumping extended hours then improved access. Network rules too restricting. Legal mess.

‘No real increase in funding. No freedom to invest in staff we need rather than those stipulated. Even worse than 2004 which at least allowed us to earn more for the extra work – for the first year or two anyway.’

Another respondent said: ‘I think the concept behind primary care networks are right but the approach, slowly phased investment and constraining approach to recruitment into new roles won’t impact on sustainability greatly.’

It follows warnings from accountants that practices should ‘think twice’ before signing primary care network contracts, due to potential concerns around VAT and HR issues.

Earlier this year, a number of practices were reported to have ‘hurriedly’ designed their networks in order to meet the deadline.

It was revealed that practices would receive 45p per patient less through DES for providing extended hours

This story was changed to reflect that in the survey GPs were asked whether they would have voted for the contract, not motion, as was previously stated. 

Readers' comments (15)

  • Democracy in action BMA .Vote with your feet from these parasites withdraw your subs.

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  • So for those not in the room, a retired consultant with a history of believing any change is about privatisation/an American take over, presents a motion that demands the immediate withdrawal of a contract whilst also asking for a ballot on the same contract, and then confuses multiple different organisations demonstrating a complete disregard and lack of knowledge about both the contract and the current structure of the NHS supported only by a GP who declares they are the leader of their local Labour Party.
    The debate was robust but only logical on one side, it was always going to go the way it did.

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  • Nhsfatcat

    I’m a little tired of the grassroot knocking of the BMA.
    I’m tired as I used to be one of the moaners. I decided that if I want change I’m the only one that can make it happen in my small sphere of influence. To do more I need to increase my sphere (my wife thinks I’m doing well due to waist size.) I joined the BMA, became a rep and have been to BMA conferences. They work very hard and for the last 9 years have been up against an ideology that opposes socialised medicine.
    Join the BMA, contact your LMC and offer som e help.

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  • The debate will be posted on the BMA website and I encourage people to watch it. I was in the room. It was a high quality debate. In the Pulse poll, 40% said they “didn’t know” so I think the headline is slightly misleading as a formal poll would have included more education about the deal. The one question I have is: if not this deal, what deal would we have? The motion smacked of the Tories expecting the EU to reopen negotiations on Brexit.

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  • @turnoutthelights
    Appreciate sentiment, but withdraw and then what?
    Agree with Nhsfatcat- more GPs should be involving themselves in BMA and politics, but it is difficult when you are dealing with a Government hellbent on destruction and feathering their own nests.

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  • please-delete-this-fucking-profile-i-cant-delete-it-in-my-account-settings

    I completely agree with the sentiments of those who urge people to get involved, you can not moan if you're not prepared to actually do anything. The problem we have is a demoralised workforce increasingly disengaged from the process through relentless years of political incompetence. If you've stepped back from your career and are moving away from the core of practice, if you've decided partnership is a bad idea and are just about getting by as a locum whilst you try to work out wether you can stomach continuing as a GP, firing up your motivation to get into politics to fight what feels like a battle you can't win is the last thing in your mind. I think a large proportion of the workforce has given up. I say this because I am one of them and I don't feel any pride in saying it, in fact i can only say this because I can post anonymously and 'debating' here is mildly therapeutic. I think the combination of the kind of politics we have in the U.K. the kind of population (poorly educated and ill informed) and larger macroeconomic and societal factors out of our control, is causing the kind of changes we are all so unhappy about wether we like it or not. If i believed otherwise i wouldn't have left to become a locum. The decision to disengage happens at the point you leave the conventional career path, not after. too many people have done and are doing so that sadly i think we passed the point of no return some time ago. Those who remain have an increasingly atypical mental map of what is going on. The moaning you hear is a result of a feeling of hopelessness and yes it is very sad, and unfortunately the only positive and rational thing to do is leave and invest your energy in something more productive. There is a life outside of this depressing and grinding drudgery. That's where the hope lies, somewhere else.

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  • been there, done it , waste of time, left. GPs wont take action, the government knows that and are laughing all the way to their gold plated pension and private health care plans and screw all of us. been telling you all of this for the past 25 years. did you and the bma listen? NO. Did you do anything?, NO. did the majority of GPs go on strike when we had the chance? NO. You make think you are working hard at the BMA but the government are playing you for the weak gutless fools that you are, living in lala land. The BMA didn't let GPs vote on the contract because they knew we would reject it as the poor quality contract that is is. I am not moaning - i am angry at being let down by my supposedly representative union which i have since left in total disgust. Betrayal doesn't even begin to encompass the emotions here.

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  • Agree with locum x.

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  • It is difficult to get involved when working 12 and 13 hour days with a 10 minute sandwich break.

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  • I am not a 2 session wonder I do 9-10 sessions.The BMA seems very secondary care centered,it has a monopoly on the medical profession.We need another union,this lot a fiddling while primary care (and alot of the juniors and consultant workforce) is fading away).They have let the juniors down, they repeatedly let us down.We need another union one that represent us not the protection of the NHS at the cost to us.When will they publish the membership numbers from the last 2 years since the juniors strike!Why not give us all the vote,why are they allowed another botched contact through to be pressure sold in a rush,the current contract stinks.We should all have a vote on it after all it is a union,this decison was made by the few'top drs'for the many.URRGH!

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