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GPs go forth

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)

  • Give us a vote on your effort then,don’t rush it through,no hiding in political noise honest straight forward and listen to your grassroots.With out the grass roots the lawn will die.Listen and act.Before it’s to late ,if it isn’t already.

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  • Tantalus

    If the BMA want this to work then they better get a move on with these negotiations. From all the chatter I am hearing and reading GPs confidence in the PCN DES to deliver an improvement in their working lives is vanishing fast.
    NHSE have completely misjudged the mood of the profession. It’s beginning to look like an opportunity wasted.
    Give us the resources, let us build the teams and then maybe we can deliver on the metrics, but as it stands all they have done is increase our workload.

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  • I've read the DES. It doesn't up -new money for Social Prescribers, but mandated GP weekly/ fortnightly "home rounds" (presumably not being done by social prescribers), more command and control -Clinical Leads (GPs) for this and that- GPs to take the rap when al the "metrics" don't add up.

    And unless I'm very much mistaken Practices (i.e. GPs) will be paying the unfunded 30% of salaries.

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  • where did he say this, I have seen nothing

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  • Call me cynical but basis for negotiation means basically bugger all unless it’s actually dealt with or resolved

    I have no confidence and suspect my colleagues will be shafted with another baseless useless job(s) that will do nothing for retention and work load

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  • I have just listened to a podcast by Patrick Deneen who cheered me up by saying that the "neo-liberal world" wishes to structure, enforce and report the actions of those who work in vocational professions in the mistaken belief that it is necessary and will generate better outcomes. He made it quite clear that this is misguided and patronising and does not help the morale of those same professionals who don't need to be cajoled and who, given the right conditions (ie time and resources), know exactly what to do anyway. Sadly reassuring but very validating when we look at these sort of sudden contract changes.

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  • ..in my practice we used to do a visit to all of out 150 patients at NH/RH homes each week: a full day, 40+ contacts. Worthy work, the sickest patients, but our other GMS backlog spiralled out of control and then we couldn't recruit. All of us have left that practice now. Fund it properly....!

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  • Vinci Ho

    Had a good conversation with my LMC secretary this afternoon . These are my understandings:
    (1) NHS England has certainly surprised many people as they took an unconventional ( clearly contentious ) approach of bypassing GPC before releasing this draft on 23/12/2019 with the deadline of consultation/feedback one week from today (15/1/2020) . A significant number of LMCs in the country do not routinely have a meeting in January ( Liverpool LMC is one of them).
    (2) Allow me to be judgemental, this ‘testing the water’ act was disingenuous but also imperious . Of course , this government is now holding a strong majority in the parliament facing virtually zero , pathetic opposition. So if it is to exercise their autocracy , there is no better time . And I do not think it is just targeting at PCNs.
    (3) The grand plan is always about changing our terms and conditions as well as moving secondary care in a different direction simultaneously. Hence , these new PCN service specifications are , in fact , consistent with what NHSE would want to impose in secondary care . In a way , we (GPs) are to be sacrificed to ensure the sustainability of hospitals . Whatever obtained from vanguard sites is now used as ‘evidence’ to take the rest of us for granted . Thanks to those enthusiastic protagonists in these sites which were obviously funded excessively to ensure some successes .

    Call me critical and cynical but ‘a scholar prefers death to humiliation’ (士可殺不可辱)(Book of Rites 禮記) . Please do not insult our intelligence anymore.

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  • Vinci Ho

    And for those colleagues in BMA , please remember that it is a fine line between negotiation and extortion.
    Kill the chicken before it can lay any egg. The government gets nothing !

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  • For me it is largely irrelevant what the BMA manage to 'negotiate'. NHSE have shown their hand, and practice sustainability and development doesn't feature in it. Even if we manage to secure a 'less bad than it might have been' settlement, the message is that PCNs will ultimately be subverted to further disinvest and disempower General practice. We engage with them, at any level, at our peril.

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