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GP concerns over network DES will form ‘basis’ of talks with NHSE, says BMA

The BMA has reassured GPs that concerns about new network DES proposals are being heard 'loud and clear' and these will form the 'basis' of its contract negotiations with NHS England.

In a statement issued today, the chair of the BMA's GP Committee said the organisation was reviewing GP feedback and it would ensure the final versions of the network specifications 'are fair and appopriate'.

Detail of the negotiations are confidential at present but BMA officials are reassuring GPs that they are listening to doctors on the ground.

The BMA will negotiate and agree on the proposals with NHS England before networks are expected to fulfil the seven service specifications from April onwards.

Concerns were first raised over NHS England's proposals for primary care networks when it was revealed GPs will have to carry out fortnightly care home visits.

LMCs have gone on to question how far the draft proposals will affect the stability of GP practices with some saying there should be 'outright rejection' of the proposals.

BMA GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said today: ‘General practice continues to be under a huge amount of pressure and we hear the concerns raised by the profession in recent weeks about these draft specifications, the workload implications and the need for a qualified workforce to deliver them, loud and clear.

‘While the content of negotiations is confidential, the profession should rest assured that we are listening to doctors on the ground, reviewing their feedback and this will form the basis of talks with NHS England to ensure that the specifications are fair and appropriate before they are agreed.

‘In turn, we would urge as many clinical directors, GPs, practices and LMCs as possible to raise concerns directly with NHSE to ensure their voices are heard.’

NHS England released the draft proposals at the end of December and asked practices for feedback on the specifications by 15 January.

Pulse is asking GP partners to complete our own short survey on the network contract DES proposals - with participants being in with the chance of winning £100 of John Lewis vouchers.

Readers' comments (25)

  • Positive feedback on the proposals would hopefully mean they go ahead with it, practices withdraw from PCN's and the only place to then invest money would be the practices themselves? Maybe it is time to play politics ourselves?

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  • This is as predicted. I feel slightly reassured that my increasing cynicism was not a sign that I was burning but valid. I am close to withdrawing from the DES as I cannot see that the BMA will negotiated anything but a slight adjusted version. The BMA are weak and are not acting as any sort of union. I am not sure that they have their members and therefore the patients interests at heart any more. Not many professions have such a weak union. We must never strike but we can say no to addition work and simply work to rule if needed.
    We are accountable as business and professionals and any other business would be insane to agree to increase work load, increased liability and reduced practice resources. We need all GP practices to withdraw from the PCN DES on mass.

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  • Charging a modest fee to consult would reduce GP workload and increase funding overnight.

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  • Peter Swinyard

    It is sad that I have moved on, after 35 years as a principal, to being salaried in the practice I founded in 1995. I would no longer relish the challenge of running the practice, coping financially with the much higher overheads which have come (pension contributions) and which are coming (national living wage) and the ever increasing expectation of outputs from an ever diminishing working pool of GPs.
    PCNs had the opportunity to help in all sorts of ways. This PCN DES is not it. It is poisonous. So many parts of it demands "GP Leads". In my book, leads have an owner on one end and a lapdog on the other.
    GPC - we don't need lapdogs, we need Rottweilers. Until some teeth are shown to the administrariat, nothing will change. Nikki Kanani, as National Medical Director for Primary Care (and a real GP) understands but I think that she is being bounced into accepting this gold-plated specification when practices just lack the workforce to manage it, in conjunction with their core job of looking after the sick.

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  • Peter Swinyard

    and not once in the PCN Draft DES document is Continuity of Care even mentioned.

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