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Gold, incentives and meh

It’s not up to GPs to sort out national recruitment problems

Editor’s blog

I had a double take when I saw that line in the NHS England board paper: 'Through the network contract, we have given the independent contractor model a major shot in the arm.

'It is now down to PCNs to decide their own long-term future: take responsibility for securing a new generation of partners, or by default (rather than choice) become salaried to other NHS providers.'

It may well have been a case of an overeager junior civil servant, and a line that slipped through the net. But, otherwise, this was a shocking statement that amounted to: ‘We’ve done our bit, and if partnership recruitment doesn’t improve, that’s the fault of the networks.'

I just hope these words aren’t NHS England’s way of passing on its responsibility

If this is truly the attitude then I fear the implications. Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s director of primary care, has rightly said on a number of occasions that the new contract is only the first step to sort out the workload and workforce issues in general practice.

There are numerous structural reasons why younger GPs don’t want to become partners, chiefly workload. But this network contract, for its positives, does very little to cut workload, provide incentives to take on partnerships or provide the shot in the arm that will really work: a huge influx of new GPs.

It is not up to GPs to provide answers to recruitment problems, which goes hand-in-hand with saving the partnership model. I just hope these words aren’t NHS England’s way of passing on its responsibility.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk

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Readers' comments (13)

  • A stab in the back is more accurate description than a shot in the arm. I think most of us can see how much networks will really improve things.......juggling the pieces around a board doesn't give us more to work with..... its mere entertainment value and a distraction from the fundamentals.......we need increased capacity or reduced demand...... looks like we've received neither......

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  • Same, Same.
    HMG and management have been officially offloading their responsibility (while continuing to take their salaries), since the H&SC Act.

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  • Knowledge is Porridge

    We have been worried that the new pharmacists, paramedics, physicians assistants will be roped into some new open ended project, as yet unclear and with limitless demand.
    This shows we are simply trying to reduce GP workload and make our jobs sustainable.
    Lets get appraisal sorted, which is a huge cause of burnout from my perspective and then GP really will be attractive.

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  • Remember Connecting for Health & NLOP (No Longer Our Problem: I can never remember the official meaning)?
    When things were not going according to plan, CfH passed responsibility for enforcement to SHAs - while not allowing any deviation from central diktats.
    Is history repeating itself?
    NLOP was hardly a success...

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  • Yet the BMA ARM voted overwhelmingly for the new 5 year Contract with PCNs.

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  • you also take on the OOH as well in the future, no locum - your problem. you are deluded if you sign up to this contract. and you don't have to sign up either- its not compulsory - so leave. the extra cash will not be going into your pay packet but you will get the extra workload.

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  • Well, we as individuals don't just have a professional duty/responsibility at work. We also have a civic duty as citizens to maintain the social contract i.e. moral duty to uphold law etc, and try to sort out the issues of society. We exercise that duty and democratic power when we vote, for example. Now, I'm not in favour of sorting out the recruitment crisis WHEN THE STATE IS IN CHARGE, but it doesn't mean it ain't MY problem as a citizen to contend with. Therefore, I will continue promoting my ideas on how to deal with it, e.g. smaller state etcetc. Whether I should be liable to the state for a failure to deal with it is a separate matter too. My point is simply - it is EVERYONE's responsibility to sort out themselves/their network/and society's ills. Just ask yourself - what kind of society do you want your children, and their children to grow up in?

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  • Re Christopher Ho | GP Partner/Principal04 Jul 2019 2:29pm

    ‘Well, we as individuals don't just have a professional duty/responsibility at work. We also have a civic duty as citizens to maintain the social contract i.e. moral duty to uphold law etc, and try to sort out the issues of society.’

    I reflect that if you had advised Stalin and his cronies of your moral duty to uphold the law, the best you could expect was an extended sojourn in a gulag!

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  • |DecorumEst | Salaried GP|04 Jul 2019 2:44pm

    It's not too far different these days with hate speech policing on the internet, blasphemy laws, deplatforming of the Right, etc

    "The price of freedom, is eternal vigilance."

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  • If a medical student asks what my job is like I am not going to lie to them just so HMG can brainwash them into working for the NHS.

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  • It is well understood by Kings Fund/ Nuffield Trust/ GPs that NHSE and DoH do not understand primary care. But DoH does understand how to offload risk and responsibility. Only without the authority and funding the 'offload' is cosmetic. I note that DoH are also experts at spin. Style over substance does not seem to bother them.

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  • Food stamps will solve the problem though!:


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/09/nurses-will-offered-supermarket-discounts-persuade-stay-nhs/

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  • Individuals are personally responsible for their own health and adults are responsible for their dependents.
    NHS England and HMG created the GP contract and are responsible for it’s success/failure.
    Attempting to dump this recruitment/retention challenge on GP practice is cowardly/weak!
    Not impressed by this attempt at devolving responsibility!

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