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GPs go forth

GP leaders vote to hold special LMC conference after rejecting contract deal

Exclusive The BMA’s GP Committee has voted to hold a special LMCs conference on networks following a meeting in London today.

GPC England members voted 80% to reject the contract deal on the table from NHS England at its regular meeting.

The BMA said that the details about the package on offer were ‘confidential’, but added that GPC England will now return to negotiations with NHS England.

There has been outcry by the profession against the specifications set out by NHS England for the network DES, which 99% of practices are signed up to. 

The BMA had 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.

However, the vote by the GPC is the strongest indication about its opposition to NHS England’s direction of travel yet.

The recent publication of the draft network specifications has raised concern amongst many GPs in the profession, leading to multiple LMCs advising practices not to sign the network DES contract as it stands.

A Pulse survey recently revealed 80% of GP partners will pull out of the network DES contract if proposals go ahead.

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.

GPC England chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: The message from GPs in recent weeks has been a clear one: proposals put forward by NHS England and NHS Improvement before Christmas have clearly been judged by the profession as unreasonable, and completely unachievable.

’At a time when demand and workload for practices are unprecedented, GPs working on the front line felt these draft specifications piled on more pressure and would undermine primary care networks that were only just getting off the ground.

’This overload would therefore put in jeopardy all of the good work and progress PCNs have already made for the good of both staff and patients.

’Even in the short time GPs were given to respond to the consultation, NHS E/I were overwhelmed with feedback, which was unanimous in its condemnation. Now GPC England – which is elected to represent GPs across England – has made its own position clear and we will now go back to NHSE/I to seek a way forward.

’This is therefore not the end of the process, we have a clear mandate from our colleagues, to negotiate a deal that truly benefits and safeguards general practice, family doctors and their patients.’


Readers' comments (15)

  • Ooh, NHSE will be quaking at the threat of another meeting.

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Its just fascinating that 20% are into self flagellation.

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  • The motivation of two weekly visits to care homes is the hope that it will prevent 999 and admissions to A&E. It would make little difference. If you want to manage chronic conditions better , regular review is a good idea. However 2 weekly seeing patients for some arbitrary NHSE dictat is not helpful. Acute admissions may happen between visits anyway.

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  • Nhsfatcat

    Copernicus: that meeting will instruct the GPC in what to negotiate.
    The BMA has the statutory obligation to negotiate on behalf of all GPs, BMA members or not. They are often tied up in legislation and legal process on how to proceed but they have to negotiate steered by the LMC conference. To many GPs moan and self martyr themselves without getting involved and backing their union. I understand as a HP partner myself how difficult is to do when the day job is overwhelming but without the professions engagement the BMA has less power.
    If 100% of GPs back GPC via their LMCs then we’d not be in the situation we are now. Too many cardies not enough armour plating.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Once again , like what I wrote about RCGP addressing to the chair of RCGP , BMA must recognise their name was ‘used’ by NHS England in the draft document where they represent one of the organisations from which ‘evidence‘ was obtained to underpin the requirements for GPs in the draft .
    Therefore , this is about pride and credibility of BMA . If NHSE is allowed to sail this through with little ‘scathe’ , any future negotiation will virtually become extortion by the government instead . As I labelled this unique circumstance(namely recruitment and retention crisis) in the GP-land history as ‘scorched earth’ , BMA has no choice other than threatening NHSE and hence , government a nuclear Apocalypse and Armageddon in GP-land where no one is to win .

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  • Vinci Ho

    Copperfield was asking the question whether NHSE was deceitful or simply delusional. I would say that one has to follow the track record to determine whether any more benefit of doubt should be granted to NHSE.
    Incompetence is perhaps even worse than malevolence.
    As a minimum, it is already unforgivable that an executive department of the government holding public funds is repeatedly showing incompetence in serving its purposes.. Overseeing the contracts with Carillion and Capita have failed ignominiously . The waiting times in virtually all sectors of NHS have been drifting far away from acceptable targets . This debacle of PCN service specifications is ,in fact, epitomising the complete lack of idea to salvage this downfall of NHS (and Social Care) , and only to exploit GPs as their last way to get them out of jail simply because GPs are traditionally the gatekeeper of NHS, hence , perfect scapegoats.
    The scandal of Dr Madan was only the first exposure of this ‘crime’ of NHSE as I never regret for a single moment to equate NHSE to Ministry of Plenty created by the great George Orwell in 1984 .
    If BMA(perhaps RCGP) is to look up to the sky searching its pride and dignity , this is the time to seek legal challenges , run petitions and call for dissolution against NHS England .
    To strive ,to seek , to find and not to yield?

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  • Who where the 20% ?

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  • And what happens to the staff already hired or promised jobs by some PCNs? We have to stop this culture of waiting for scraps to fall from the table to fund general practice. We must demand proper, sustained funding guaranteed for several years. This is what the GPC need to do.

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  • Rejoice



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  • We need to get our priorities right this time. Please vote for the PCNs to be scrapped at this conference, and any contractual negotiations to be directed purely towards GMS.
    Otherwise we will lose General Practice forever.
    It’s now or never

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