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Commissioning leaders make last-minute plea for return to contract negotiations

Commissioning leaders have made a last-minute plea for the Department of Health and BMA to return to contract negotiations, with warnings that an imposed contract will be a distraction from commissioning.

The chairs of the NHS Alliance and the NAPC have both warned of the consequences of the proposed contract imposition on 1 April, the same date CCGs take control.

Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, said: ‘It is certainly extremely sub-optimal that you have a contract imposed, and it is really sad that NHS Employers and the BMA can’t come to an agreement.

‘I am not sure that the current debacle with the contract is helping morale in general practice at a time when it is desperately important that GPs stand with their commssioning groups and are signed up to their aims.

‘I would say, let’s for heaven’s sake see if we can’t go back to the table and have an agreed contract not an imposed one. For my money, I think there are issues in the proposed contract, for instance with regards to quality framework standards which frankly are too draconian.’

‘That said, I really don’t think that one should affect the other. Our new role in looking after population health is really quite different from any grievance we might have in terms of a contract being imposed in our role as providers.’

NAPC chair Dr Charles Alessi said: ‘I hope that we are not in a world of imposition. I hope we’re in a world of dialogue.

‘Any contractual dispute is always a distraction to commissioning. Let’s keep on talking and find a way to manage the contractual arrangement between primary care and the system work. We’ve got to work with others to get a solution. We’re all in the same boat. We’ve got to find a way around it rather than grandstanding. That’s not going to help anybody.’

Talks between NHS Employers and BMA broke down in October and the DH has consulted on its proposed changes since December. The consultation closed last week with the DH set to announce the outcome ‘shortly’.

It comes as the Family Doctor Association warned that the contract looks set to go through largely unchanged from proposals after meeting with the NHS Commissioning Board last week.

Pulse Live: 30 April - 1 May, Birmingham

Pulse Live

Find out how the changes to commissioning from April will benefit you and your practice at Pulse Live, Pulse’s new two-day annual conference for GPs, practice managers and primary care managers, will cover the latest developments in telehealth.

Pulse Live offers practical advice on key clinical and practice business topics, as well as an opportunity to debate the future of the profession, and a top range of speakers includes NICE chair designate Professor David Haslam, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey and the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the House of Commons health committee.

To find out more and book your place, please click here.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Have just been told by a head of a CCG that the government and DoH have a target of £80,000 maximum for gp income by 2015 and don't care how they achieve it

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  • Anon, 6.15. You are either a seriously sad conspiracy theorist to believe such utter claptrap from a "head of a CCG" (what the hell would they know anyway) or trying to wind up the serially hysterical commentators who normally join these threads. How the hell can they hope to control income to members of independent practices who have so many opportunities to earn from their work, OOH, police and sports medicine, dispensing, becoming an MP, clinical assistant employment, working on cruise ships, holiday camps, journalism.... Need I go on?

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  • £80000 referred to income from GMS which you obviously think is adequate

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  • I would think that limiting GP income from GMS is perfectly acheivable to a point!

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  • You cannot limit pay below that of our consultant colleagues because every F2 doc' would avoid a career in General Practice and the recruitment crisis would just push up GP pay again.

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