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Independents' Day

BMA warns against reinstating bureaucracy as over half of GPs feel less burdened

The Government must ‘reflect very carefully’ before reintroducing GP bureaucracy, the BMA has warned, as its latest tracker survey found over half of GPs feel relieved by the temporary easing during the pandemic.

The BMA’s latest coronavirus survey of 2,500 GPs found over half (55%) said they felt ‘less burdened’ by bureaucracy as a result of coronavirus measures, while 82% said the reduced paperwork must be retained in the long term.

Half of respondents wanted QOF to remain suspended after the pandemic, while 59% and 54% called for less frequent appraisals and fewer or no CQC inspections respectively.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse that the ‘burden’ of contract management must be reduced to ‘improve morale’ in general practice, and that the Government must ‘avoid going back to systems that were causing stress and difficulty for many practices in the recent past'.

Dr Vautrey said: ‘All of these are a sign of the workload pressures that practices were previously under prior to the pandemic. 

‘The last thing anybody wants is to go back to the same situation on top of having to deal with the pandemic for the next few months or even year or two as we go forward.’

The Government must learn from the pandemic rather than returning to ‘business as usual’, Dr Vautrey added.

He said: ‘There’s always a temptation for systems to revert back if not thought through carefully and that’s why it is important for NHS England and the Government to reflect very carefully on the lessons learned in recent weeks.’

And ‘contract management’ was one of the reasons that GPs were feeling ‘burnt out’ and leaving the profession, he added.

He said: ‘If we’re wanting to improve morale in general practice as a whole we need to keep the burden reduced - part of which is the unnecessary bureaucracy that comes with contract management.’

The survey also found that nine in 10 GPs want to carry on delivering consultations remotely after the coronavirus pandemic has ended. 

It comes as the GMC announced an extension to GP revalidation dates eligible for deferral due to the coronavirus pandemic this week.

Meanwhile, Pulse revealed earlier this month that the BMA is 'in talks' around the future of QOF payments for the remainder of 2020/21. 

The RCGP also warned last month that GP bureaucracy must not return to pre-pandemic levels. 

Readers' comments (11)

  • LERNAEAN HYDRA

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  • This is the same Dr Vautrey that endorsed and encouraged GP’s to sign up to a beurocracy laden DES. Joined up thinking from the BMA as usual ...

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  • Vinci Ho

    For those who completed the survey, I would say one question missing was ‘ would you agree to the statement ‘NHS England is not fit for purpose, given the circumstances‘ ? ( call me a fire starter if you want)

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  • WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT A VIRUS FROM THE EAST COULD INITIATE THE LONG AWAITED OVERHAUL OF A HEALTH SYSTEM IN THE WEST?----WHERE WE DOCTORS HAVE PATHETICALLY FAILED----THANK YOU FOR THAT.

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  • Another survey from the BMA.....

    If these useless f*ckers were not a bunch of spineless parasites they would have organised a mass non-payment of GMC fees after Bawa-Gaba to demand reform.

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  • And similarly with the CQC.

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  • Who are the 40 odd percent of GPs who do not want CQC inspections to remain suspended after Covid?!

    Presumably the GPs who work for the CQC ?

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  • The police department in the USA has protested against tainting all police who dealt with over 300,000 calls professionally in their state. Sounds like Shipman to me. Doctors are far better and more consciencious than the police.Tainting us all trying to expand bureacracy. Scrap NHSE, CQC and the GMC needs reform. Covid 19 shows how useless and how much of a hinderance and how we do not need them. Charlie taking home over £200K with zero medical qualification is not qualified to judge and run professionals.

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  • Can Pulse do an article on who really are the string pullers, and 'strategists' of the NHS...so anonymous and mysterious they are in an inert, fortified wall of NHSE...who actually is in Ed Waller's team and what is their true agenda?

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  • I agree truthfinder

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