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Gold, incentives and meh

GPs approve 'nuclear deterrent' of mass resignation at emergency conference

GP leaders have moved a step closer to a potential mass resignation should the Government fail to respond to ongoing pressures facing general practice.

At today’s Special LMC Conference, delegates voted overwhelmingly to carry a motion proposing that ‘the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to submit undated resignations’ unless ’negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice’ are ’concluded successfully within six months’.

But to the dismay of some GPs, the motion was watered down ahead of the debate, having originally suggested the GPC go ahead and request undated resignations at the six-month deadline, rather than just canvassing.

The motion, in three parts, called on the GPC to identify what other actions GPs could undertake without breaching their contracts, and to ballot GPs on what services practices could stop providing in order to reduce workload and ensure ‘safe and sustainable care’ for patients.

A Pulse survey of more that 900 GPs carried out at the end of last year revealed that half (49%) of GPs support mass resignation from the NHS in protest at the current state of general practice.

Today’s special conference  – the first one called since 2003 – looked specifically at ‘what actions are needed to ensure GPs can deliver a safe and sustainable service’ amid concerns over workforce, workload and the defunding of general practice.

The Department of Health has promised a package of ’substantial funding and support’ as part of a big announcement due next month. Earlier this week, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said this ‘wide-ranging’ package would include ’measures on workforce, workload and service redesign’.

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, a GP in Hertfordhsire, told delegates: ’[This motion] allows time to deploy our nuclear deterrent without actually letting it off. This is the headline to launch the campaign. Hold your noses and vote yes. Send a lightning bolt to NHS England.

’It is not safe, and it is not fair – and it is not just for juniors – because this is a state of emergency. So, conference, if not now, when?’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said he was ‘very happy’ to support the motion because GPs have to do ‘everything we can’ to support general practice.

Dr Anthony O’Brien from Devon LMC said: ‘There is no point canvassing unless you think it is likely you are going to get a consensus. I think this is highly unlikely but let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment, let’s explore it. Mass GP action would need mass GP support.

’Mass support only comes with good, motivating publicity, so if the BMA and GPC truly believe they have a polished public relations machine that could convince GPs to involve themselves in mass action… in the future, well that would be fantastic.

’But that begs the question, what are these PR wizards doing at the moment? They are certainly not using their amazing skills very successfully to get the plight of general practice in newspapers.’

The motion in full

That conference instructs GPC that should negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice not be concluded successfully within 6 months of the end of this conference:

(i) actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts must be identified to the profession

(ii) a ballot of GPs should be considered regarding what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients

(iii) the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to to submit undated resignations

Source: BMA


Readers' comments (78)

  • I love working hard in general practice now, I'm paid for each patient contact, and can top up this income with fees from the patients (who can afford it) too. It's probably more like the uk dental system than the NHS. I would never return to the uk until I could be properly rewarded for my hard work - but that's never going to happen, so anyone you enough to move should ditch the contract and ditch the country...

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  • Someone had to link to this didn't they?

    Ditch the contract comrades!

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see.
    (1)The whole non-cooperation campaign(which should consists of a lot more than just 'a nuclear deterrent' )needs to start at somewhere . As I said , other 'activities' need to be debated on.
    (2) The hardest part in any form of civil disobedience is how one can awaken supporters to join. Quite frankly , most of my partners in the practice did not know about this emergency conference yesterday . Yes, some colleagues have already given up their membership of BMA ( understanable) .
    (3) Younger people are more easily blood-boiled and mobilisation hence is faster. The older we are , more 'sceptical' we are and more 'baggages' we are carrying .

    You have to 'believe' before you 'succeed' (sorry, my philosophical cr*p again)and we clearly need missles on top of a nuclear bomb......

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    Jeremy Hunt 1 GPs 0. Who got to the BMA? Who is responsible for watering down the motion on mass resignation in the 11th hour? Voting to canvass GPs on mass resignation in 6 months time is akin to taking a survery, a poll? It has no legal clout like a proper vote, ballot on mass resignation which can then be implemented with a fixed date. Sad day for traditional general practice.

    Yesterday I sat next to a billionaire at a free Lifestyle Business Convention in London listening to young multimillionaires share their pearls of wisdom to reach financial freedom. The billionaire asked me what I did. When I mentioned I was a doctor, he explained that we were in the lowest class in society. I was both shocked and humiliated. But what could I say next to a Vietnamese Brit who boasted he had bought a building in Surrey Quays with a Saudi Prince to add to his property portfolio.

    And today I read Pamela Wible's FB with premed, med students and residents share that they are at breaking point (cycle of abuse, overworked, never ending rows of night shifts, no occu health, huge debt, trapped).

    Why does moral wealth not equate to financial wealth?

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  • Full commercialisation of general practice, handing the sector to the acutes in the new STP's ... yep, mass resignation will really help

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  • Who are these GPs???
    They certainly don't speak for me. Or by the look of it the majority of GPs.

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  • 30th January 08.14.

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  • 30th January 08.14
    I hope that your comments were tongue in cheek.
    Under those circumstances they would be ironic but if not then you are a dope

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  • l earn £200k and have no intention of resigning. These whiners should make their practices more efficient , possibly federate. We are mollycoddled with LES / DES money, pay for fluvacs , notional rent at a very high level etc. If we keep on moaning we will be replaced by pharmacists and nurses - surely what Hunt wants Do not follow like lemmings

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  • nonymous | Sessional/Locum GP31 Jan 2016 6:55am

    If having a sense of humour means mocking someone's appearance when they are making a speech on such a critical issue, then frankly this is the wrong place for it. Fool stick to the pub.

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