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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Hunt promises end to general practice 'neglect' and a reformed contract in 2016

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has pledged to end the ‘neglect’ of general practice and launch a ‘reformed’ GP contract in 2016.

Mr Hunt said that he wanted to see more investment in general practice this year ’with more doctors and a reformed contract’.

The next GP contract remains under negotiation, although Pulse revealed last year that the Government was looking to include a seven-day access DES and remove QOF. An alternative GP contract will be made available to some practices from later this year.

Meanwhile, the GPC is preparing for an emergency LMC conference later this month to form policy on how to bring general practice back from the brink of collapse, with LMCs considering radical motions including industrial action.

But in his New Year video message, Mr Hunt said GP contract reform in 2016 would ’allow doctors more time with their most vulnerable patients’.

He added: ’General practice is the jewel in the crown of the NHS, but it’s one we’ve neglected for too long. 2016 will be the year that we make steps towards hiring more GPs, in order to fill our ambition of 5,000 more doctors working in general practice.’

‘We’ll be allocating £750 million to improve primary care premises and reforming the GP contract to allow doctors more time with their most vulnerable patients.’

The pledge to boost GP numbers comes as Health Education England said before Christmas that it was hopeful of achieving a ‘worst-case scenario’ for GP recruitment by 2020 of 5,381 more doctors - a 14.6% increase.

Its 2016/17 plan said: ‘HEE’s forecasts of future supply show that we are training more people to enter the system than those leaving the system in every profession…even in our “worst case” forecast scenario available supply increases by nearly 25,000 FTE. This scenario does act to highlight the importance of the system acting to improve staff retention alongside efforts to improve course attrition and employment.’

The statements come despite scores of training places remaining unfilled across the country for the past two years, with the north east of England particularly badly hit.

Before the election, the Conservative Party promised 5,000 extra GPs by 2020, but HEE has since revealed this target will now include GPs in training and non-GP specialist doctors working in general practice.


Readers' comments (60)

  • Training more GPs without ensuring that they are attracted to the NHS is a waste of resources.
    HEE should do more work to find out what happens to GPs at the end of their training, I am surprised that we do not devote more time and resources on retaining GPs.

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  • Liar

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  • This is the old plastic carrot on a stick routine . Assume the the position and hope for more carrot lube.

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  • The thief that stole the crown and desecrated it before calling it a jewel !

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  • More time with the most vulnerable patients= bugger the rest. Who decides who is most vulnerable? QOF of course!

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  • I wonder if this 'turnaround' is because on the night of the 24th of December, Hunt was visited by the ghosts of GPs past present and future.

    I very much doubt it, otherwise he would be including them in the numbers meaning they only needed to find another 4997 GPs (I obviously mean any doctor) to meet his election promise.

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  • Promises, promises! Is he running for a higher post?

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  • What would you do if you were health Sec?
    If we increased GP funding by 25% this year, my profits would go up plenty, recruitment would improve down the line. But some practices are basically in bad shape and I wouldn't want to prop up every failing practice. So we all enter the grand experiment of new contracts for GP working "at scale", will it work? Its going to be expensive either way.

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  • By ensuring that GP's work 12 hours a day for 7 days a week Agent Hunt will ensure that you spend more time with your patients. simples

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  • seem to have nicely taken the momentum out of the junior docs protest with delays and deferrals. Assume is trying similar with us.

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