This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Told you so

Copperfield 

The BMA is ‘currently in negotiation’ with NHS England to ensure PCNs get the resources they need to deliver network specifications’.

That’s a funny sentence in both senses of the word.

Funny as in hilarious that the BMA has only just realised what they actually signed up to when they mulled over that back-of-the-envelope scribble a while back.

And funny as in odd, now that the PCN contract deal is done and dusted, that they think they can start renegotiating terms.

I’m not trying to be wise after the event: when we were being oversold that bright new PCN future, many of us blogged ad nauseam about how the contract had some terrifying strings attached.

Specifically, those un-magnificent seven service specifications and, in particular, the one about enhanced health in care homes.

Do care homes need better service provision? Yes.

We have officially signed up to being a hostage to fortune

Do we have the capacity to provide vanguard-level care via a hastily assembled troupe of signposters, pharmacists, physios and physician associates? Not unless those additional roles can be melted down into a community geriatrician.

Worse still, we have officially signed up to being a hostage to fortune.

The contract made it crystal clear that the additional roles reimbursement is dependent on fulfilling service specification targets.

The chapters were pretty much headed up ‘Quid’ then ‘Pro quo’.

So we’ve been sold down the river.

And the BMA’s apparent attempt to renegotiate that sale simply confirms that, while we drift into oblivion, they are standing on the riverbank with a belated look of realisation, fear and panic on their faces.

We could have told you this a year ago, BMA, and we did. And that’s not funny, in any sense.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of Copperfield’s blogs at http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/views/copperfield or follow him on Twitter @doccopperfield

Rate this article  (5 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Readers' comments (10)

  • Cobblers

    Nobody likes a smart arse but what else can you say to the BMA other than "We told you so".

    Will they listen, will they change? I very much doubt it. Meanwhile NHS GP is descending into the first circle of hell - limbo.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Where are our GP leaders now who were telling us how exciting a development this would be? The usual Naive optimists who allegedly lead our profession stuff up and achieve nothing again as usual.... at least they are consistent. Can Pulse not do an article with the PCN cheerleaders and see what they think of PCNs now? A GP survey on PCNs would be good..... and then compare it to what our leaders tell us...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • |Curious | Locum GP|30 Oct 2019 11:13pm

    You are assuming its IGNORANCE that has led to this. What's much more likely is that its just like what Parliament is doing to Brexit - malevolent, treacherous, sinister, corrupt. Surveys won't do f*k all. They don't and have NEVER cared. Whilst "revolution" might be a step too far, we better wise up and vote increasingly to LIMIT the power of the state.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • doesn't matter what they say, no staff, no contract., only short of 100,000 nhs staff and rising.........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Whom at the BMA would like Copperfield to do their appraisals for them?
    Sadly they will remain in their insular world and do each other’s appraisals. They were all great and anyone with a different view to them is dismissed as a complete moron and not worth listening to. This matter was completely unforeseen and unpredictable so no one is to blame and anyway they have a no blame, no responsibility culture. No one is responsible or accountable so we know where we can stick our blame.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • AL "4 TRIES IN ONE GAME" BUNDY

    The contract made it crystal clear that the additional roles reimbursement is dependent on fulfilling service specification targets.

    Basically a new type of Qoff ????
    targets too hard
    don't even bother??



    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • AL "4 TRIES IN ONE GAME" BUNDY

    he contract made it crystal clear that the additional roles reimbursement is dependent on fulfilling service specification targets.

    when the private sector takes on new roles the Gove seems more than happy to "pump prime fund them"

    additional services need funding first

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I love the practice of medicine, it has become a cherished hobby and checkpoint inhibitors and MABs for malignant melanomas and blockers that affect b3 receptors and all this wonderful, magical profession we belong to; but I cannot stand the unfettered demands anymore and I and leaving with a heavy heart. When will the BMA, our Union, realise that unless you look after doctors by defining safety in workloads and conditions, then there will be fewer of them left?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • we front line clinicians need to fight back against the ever increasing paper workload. How about we start by all refusing to do the mandatory training? Even if only 10% of us do this they cannot possibly stop us working....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Knowledge is Porridge

    If we were refusing something, I would have thought referral management services would be top of the list?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say