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At the heart of general practice since 1960

What new deal?

Dr Ahmed Nana writes

From Dr Ahmed Nana, Leicester

It was always pretty likely that the government’s proposed ‘new deal for GPs’ was going to be a damp squib. But the main question now is what do we do next?

Every GP needs to ask themselves - can I do this work until I retire at 67 or maybe even longer? Can I even do this job for the next three to five years?

The RCGP’s non-response from Maureen Baker was to be expected. The first step for all GPs in the England should be to resign RCGP membership and put this pathetic college financially in the same place it is morally; bankrupt.

From the strength of the responses on the Pulse forums, it is clear that THIS is now the tipping point for many GPs and a crossroads for primary care in the NHS.

The GPC should elevate the interests of its members above the ethos of the NHS. Striking is not possible without the support of the wider BMA; this will never happen as the support is not there from other doctors. It will also not achieve anything if the last attempt is anything to go by.

What we need from the GPC are credible alternatives and choices. We need a ballot to give the GPC a mandate to work towards those alternatives. Not only could this be a bigstatement from the profession, it is also necessary to confirm the depths of feeling among grassroots GPs.

We need to get our professionalism and respect back and the abusive relationship with the NHS needs to stop. Otherwise it is going to be a slow and painful death for general practice.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Absolutely spot on about the useless RCGP!
    Mass resignation from the RCGP would be a good move politically. At the very least the BMA would know that it is next in the firing line.

    Unfortunatley those who are looking for a new job or those already in ones that require MRCGP (trainers , appraisers, some academic posts will find it difficult to relinquish the letters (no matter how useless they may be).

    GPs need to demand the presentation of alternative models of semi-private and private primary care from the BMA. If the GPC/ BMA does not deliver really mass resignation from BMA will sho the organisation how we feel.

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  • Fellow GPs:
    some of you may have seen this letter from a tube driver about their reasons for striking... some of the issues are remarkably familiar to our own.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tube-strike-live-the-underground-drivers-letter-that-may-change-your-mind-on-todays-walk-out-10378637.html

    I don't advocate striking for GPs mainly beacuse of our medicolegal risks which tube drivers do not face.

    But we should be forcing the GPC to act by proposing a semi-private model of primary health as exists around the world.

    If the BMA/ GPC continues to ignore its members we need to take matters into our own hands and coordinate mass resignation. If we don't our practices will all fold within a few years anyway.

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  • It is my understanding that tiny don't need current active membership of RCGP to use the MRCGP letters after your name, as it is a recognised qualification, not indicating de facto membership of the organisation.

    We do need someone to represent us though, and it's a pretty rubbish job for whoever does do it. I certainly don't want to!

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  • Dr David Barrett

    Good letter

    Yes at the moment it's death by a thousand cuts !!

    Primary care in GMS / PMS forms are becoming unable to provide the high level of service that is expected from its patients and standards expected of its Regulators. As Noam Chomsky said:

    ‘If you want to privatize something and destroy it, a standard method is first to defund it, so it doesn’t work anymore, people get upset and accept privatization."

    Mr Hunt is pushing a privatisation agenda. They obfuscate this, deny it but it "hides in plain site". NHS primary care wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing. "Failings" in rationing resources is now GPs fault through CCGs, lack of 24/7 services is our fault, etc etc long list ,all our fault, but the HSCA removed the health secretaries "duty" to provide a national health service! All devolved now...

    Jeremy Hunt co-authored a book in 2009 calling for the NHS to be dismantled. Google "the green benches jeremy hunt"

    The profession is divided as you say. It will take those GPs without retirement "in sight" to really "grasp the nettle". To make our choices or force our futures and put ourselves back in the best possible position to serve our patients.

    It's a game of chess and the RCGP and GPC are outmanoeuvred EVERY time!

    JH was put in position for this "long game". He knows what he is doing and is no fool as some may think. My belief is that we, and I mean collectively as GPs have to be smarter and more ruthless than he is at protecting our position which we then know serves the best interest of our patients.

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  • Resign from RCGP and join NCGP (new college) - can do latter with the 'reflection skills' you have acquired (quite late in life, it must be said) for your appraisals.

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  • The main problem is that most GPs and RCGP / GPC still think that by moaning the Government will eventually put more financial resources into primary care. This is not going to happen. Don't forget that secondary care is now poorly resourced as well.

    Collectively all Doctors should be coming together to design a new NHS with private health insurance packages. The Government can part fund this if they wish, but we must make sure that our service meets high standards so that patients receive an excellent level of care without the burn out of Doctors and Nurses. Work load must be manageable and financial remuneration reasonable.

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  • Absolutely agree1133.sad that we have to leave the NHS to provide a safe quality service where we are valued

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