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GPC faces no-confidence vote over contract negotiations at LMCs Conference

GPC negotiators face a no-confidence vote at this month’s annual LMCs Conference, in a motion proposing the profession has ‘lost faith’ in their leadership over the outcomes of recent pensions and contract negotiations.

LMC representatives will also be voting on whether to declare the 2013/14 GP contract ‘unfit for purpose’ and whether they should mandate the GPC to hold a GP ballot over whether a new contract is needed.

The vote comes after GPs across the UK were faced with the worst GP contract deals for 2013/14 since the 2004 contract was introduced, and the failure of talks to prevent the Government imposing pension reforms that will see contribution rates increased and GPs working longer.

Pulse revealed yesterday that GPs face a ‘fundamental review’ of how practices are paid that will report later this year, after NHS England identified reforming primary care funding as one of its three main priorities.

The agenda from the conference - published today - contains a motion from Kingston and Richmond LMC that proposes: ‘That conference believes that GPC and its negotiators have lost the faith of the profession as a result of the outcome of the negotiations over NHS pensions scheme changes and the 2013 GP contract imposition.’

In a sub-motion, it has added, with a nod to Pulse’s Big Interview with GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman in January this year: ‘That conference is adamant that governments do not hold all the cards in any negotiations and that the GPC’s future negotiating position and strength has been harmed.’

The motions come after LMCs Conference chair Dr Michael Ingram urged the GPC to ‘listen to grassroots general practice’ at the forthcoming meeting on the 23 and 24 May in London. In an interview with Pulse, Dr Ingram said: ‘I want to see a connect between that hacked-off GP and the policies the GPC tries to attain for the profession.’

Croydon LMC has further argued in another motion that ‘GPC has lost its influence over government’, while Hillingdon LMC said GPs have ‘been let down by the GPC’ and has asked how this situation ‘can be rectified’.

Another motion to be discussed, proposed by Sheffield LMC, says the conference: ‘agrees that the current GP contract is unfit for purpose’ and ‘instructs the GPC to ballot GPs on whether they should demand a new contract’.

Other motions to be debated include the negotiation of a confidential whistleblowing helpline for GPs, a call for nationally agreed standards of evidence for appraisals for revalidation and a motion which said the CQC is ‘not fit for purpose’ and that a chief inspector of primary care should not be appointed.

LMCs will also debate whether to mandate the GPC to raise the point that MRCGP exam results are consistently lower in international graduates than UK graduates, and that this calls into question the ‘validity’ of the exam.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘It is understandable that GPs are angry given the decision by ministers to impose a series of ill thought out changes to the GP contract that will drive up workload and cut an average practice’s resources.

‘However, we hope that conference will during the course of the debate understand that we should be directing our criticism at the Government who disregarded years of productive negotiations, including a potential settlement in October 2012 that would have delivered a far better outcome for patients and general practice.

‘The negotiators continue to provide strong leadership for GPs on a range of issues, including being at the forefront of highlighting problems with the NHS 111 system.’

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman added: ‘It would be a disappointing year if there wasn’t a vote of no-confidence in the chairman or the GPC. That happens almost every year. I think it is important that the GPC is held to account. I don’t have the slightest problem with that, I expect it. There has been a couple of years when we haven’t had one but it is extremely common to have one so I am not surprised at all by that.’

What the motions say

Conference believes that GPC and its negotiators have lost the faith of the profession as a result of the outcome of the negotiations over NHS pension scheme changes and the 2013 GP contract imposition.

Conference is adamant that governments do not hold all the cards in any national negotiations and that the GPC’s future negotiating position and strength have been harmed.

Conference believes that, at a time when general practice is under attack and the GP contract is being dismantled by the Department of Health, the profession needs strong leadership and positive ideas from the GPC and not the current apparent defeatism.

Conference believes that GPs are now completely inconsequential having been let down by the GPC and asks how this state of affairs can be rectified.

Click here to read the full agenda


Readers' comments (17)

  • Always helpful when engaged against a party who has a decided advantaged strategic position to start bickering among yourselves.
    Yes the government does not hold all the cards, no the only cards we have left are low value; diffcult to obtain anything other than a pyrrhic victory of mass resignation from the NHS.
    End game wage slave to a private providor seeing the same patients that you used to have clinical freedom with, to protocols outside of your control.

    Let those at the table play the hand out and for goodness sake back the plays with personal action.

    I think we are playing for a draw at best.

    The draw position is when the NHS dies the public fully appreciate it was the politicians that killed in not the medical staff.

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  • Vinci Ho

    As I said before , GPC/BMA need to seriously look at their attitude and stance towards this government .
    If somebody insulted you and you still tried to play gentleman , the end result is always predictable.
    There is a Chinese saying , ' if you are to do a job and succeed , you need to sharpen your tools first'
    I am afraid the tools used this war against bullies are very blunt......

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  • I think the negotiators positions are none sustainable. They all must surely stand down or at least offer resignation. When you have one who feels it is time to report a minister of health to the GMC things have really gone as low as they can.
    No confidence VOTE YES!!

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  • Whilst I'm disappointed with the negotiators, I'm not sure anyone else would have made any difference. Jeremy Hunt & David Cameron are out to systematically destroy primary care and we are far too gutless to make a decent stand against them.

    Anything barr full scale strike would have suffice but instead we opted for soft strike and a bit of a moan - they now know how spinless we are and I suspect more is yet to come.

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  • Why don't every large practice nominate one GP to stand for local council/MP election, if we had to really do politics and influence policy! what's the point doing BMA, a trade union afraid of taking action or even unable to do any public demo to tell the truth to the public! Is there anyone listening? How about doing some road march against government policies, using media, bill board - why can't we do something for the public to understand what is happening in the NHS before its too late !

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  • Get Clare Gerada in to run the GPC and the BMA. She's the only one with the integrity and courage to stand up to DH and SoS

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  • Toothless and ineffective are two of the more polite words I have to describe my feelings of "our" negotiators. They seem to be messengers rather than negotiators. They should hold the government to account and make them have to contradict our stance, they seem to have no idea of what politics entails and as this is all politics this seems a major failing.

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  • Why do we fear the private sector ? Is our market value that low? Our patient profit is about £ 60,00 / year. For each consultation, your take home pay is about £ 3.00. It is not we as doctors that needs to fear privatisation, but we , as patients, which I am too, that do.
    We are to be killed as white elephants but we may be the golden goose instead.

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  • Your own greed brought on this change of contract.
    I ran 3 new GP surgeries on a budget of 500k a year to cover everything from facilities to clinicians. The original model JUST worked with two and a half full time GPs. However the full time GPs on 90k pa left and the cost of using locums took up the full 500k budget with nothing left for running the practices. Why is a 90k a year salary sniffed at by GPs . . oh yes that little word WORK and a 35hr contracted week. Arrogant locums with no discipline who can't even follow patient care plans and even when bartering to get £120 an hour REFUSE to summarise patient records feeling it is beneath them while sitting twiddling their fingers has been my eye opener to the 'oh so stressful' and 'responsible' world of primary care. New contract if I were you I'd take it the emperors clothes have been seen through.

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  • Mr Smith its alled market economic,to few GPs/Locums mean they can dictate what they charge.The answer was to train more GPs it the time of plenty but this would cost.More supply means more competition,hence lower fees.Where we are in the country we cant get locums,salaried partnersor equity partners .We can only pray that this may improve although I very much doubt it.GP land is in terminal decline.

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