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Independents' Day

‘We do not need the diversion of a new contract’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul on the PM’s plan for a new seven-day GP contract

Yet again, the Government has chosen to rely on soundbites during the Conservative Party conference rather than actually addressing the fundamental issues facing general practice and patient care.

This announcement, which was not discussed with the BMA, does nothing to address the root causes of the pressures on general practice; escalating patient demand from an aging population and care moving into the community, crippling underfunding and a chronic shortage of GPs. Nine in 10 GPs state that workload pressures are damaging the quality of patient care.

The Government must learn from its own pilot schemes where there have been a number of examples of weekend appointments having little or no pick up by patients. These proposals could waste precious NHS resources and divert staff and funds from overstretched core GP services.

GPs already provide around the clock care, seven days a week – we need this to be properly staffed and funded rather than be undermined.

While getting rid of the box ticking of QOF is something the BMA has long been calling for, this should apply to all practices. It would be wholly wrong if this is being used as a carrot to only benefit patients for those practices considering the new GP contract.

Crucially, we do not need the diversion of a new contract, we need proper levels of investment in GP services, and thousands more GPs and staff to keep up with the sheer number of patients coming through the door in order to provide safe, quality care.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul is chair of the GPC

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Readers' comments (5)

  • So, what are the BMA going to do about it?

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  • The BMA will do nothing about it. Dr Nagpaal achieved his main strategic aim of becoming the first Asian GPC chair and getting a CBE. I have yet to see him impassioned about anything. . Do not rely on the GPC to do anything other than handwring and state they did their base to water down some of the more unpleasant aspects of the imposition,

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  • Peter Swinyard

    Anyone such as |Anonymous | GP Partner|05 Oct 2015 10:30am
    clearly has not met and does not know Chaand. He is the best leader we could hope for with a strong command of the situation. He is hamstrug by the BMA machine and by the fact that, to lead a profession into a serious dispute with a majority government, you need the troops to be ready to follow. We make strut and fret but would we work to rule or strike or hand in undated resignations - which worked in 1966 as the then government believed us. Remember the pensions fiasco and the day of action? We are at times sheep led by wolves.

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  • Vinci Ho

    It is easy for us to comment in here and I would never really fancy Chaand's job. The truth is this is a critical point in the history of our profession in this country. Solidarity has to come from somewhere . As I said before , we have three fronts to fight on this war: on the negotiation table, out there with a media war and the inevitable need to group ourselves to defend and protect.........
    What goes around , what comes around . I do believe these politicians would eventually get what they derserve .......

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  • Given that every sector of the medical profession is under attack - Consultants, GPs and the poorly and unhelpfully named "Junior Doctors" shouldn't we have a unified response? Public relations is critical, we need to have a concerted visible and joined up campaign to ensure the public understand what is happening, the facts around recruitment / retention / service limitations and mobilise public opinion or we will end up with further sound bites and a better PR campaign from the government when they round off a few edges and push changes through. The co-ordination of this has to be at BMA type level and I am sure the troops will rally!

    If the public and the profession want to see Doctors as employees of corporate bodies running a for profit "NHS" inaction should achieve that nicely.

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