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BMA to give ‘formal advice’ on unresourced work ahead of GP industrial action

BMA to give ‘formal advice’ on unresourced work ahead of GP industrial action

The BMA will soon be providing ‘formal advice’ on unresourced work done by GP practices, which is likely to form the basis of future industrial action, an LMC update has revealed.

In an update, BMA’s GP committee member for North Yorkshire and Bradford Dr Brian McGregor said that the GPC ‘has not stood still’ following a decisive referendum result earlier this year, which saw 99% of GPs vote down the Government’s imposed contract.

The committee’s executive has been working with BMA staff ‘to prepare the path’ for the next steps leading to potential industrial action.  

As reported by Pulse earlier this year, the GPCE seems to be mainly looking at options for collective action that would affect GP interface with other NHS services as well as workload, rather than practices ‘shutting their doors’.

Dr McGregor said that GPCE is currently looking into data-sharing arrangements, unsafe working, and ‘needless bureaucracy’ to come up with ways of taking industrial action that won’t involve partners contracts.

The YOR LMC medical secretary said: ‘GPCE has had feedback that partners are not keen to risk their businesses/breach notices, if that can be avoided, this will be the ambition.

‘The approach being taken is a measured one and we as an LMC need to work with everyone to ensure we are all on board with the steps being taken.

‘Actual planned activity is currently being held closely at national level, but the pressure will be ramped up slowly with actions being taken week on week. All actions will focus on practices, as that is where the contract sits.’

There is likely to be ‘some discomfort/pain’, he said, but ‘ideally be for the NHS/Government’.

He added: ‘So what is likely to happen? Firstly, formal GPCE advice on what is and isn’t resourced within general practice… There will be clarity soon as to what is covered by GMS or PMS and practices will need to have a long hard look at what services they should be dropping and asking commissioners to provide elsewhere.’

BMA safe working guidance will also be ‘refreshed and re-launched’, Dr McGregor said.

‘Data record sharing and the agreements we hold will also be investigated. These facilitate a lot of our
partners in care to provide their services at a significant lower cost, whilst also allowing the transfer of a lot of work into practices, they are not contractual, in that it is something we choose to do. Needless bureaucracy will also be in the spotlight – proformas, multiple page templates for outside services, demands and letters all asking for GPs to absorb risk with no recompense’

He told Pulse: ‘This is all a process of development, and that LMCs are not directly involved in any industrial action, merely advice as to what currently is and isn’t contractual to support safe working limits for practices.

‘Ultimately we can only advise practices of their contractual responsibilities and the practices themselves will decide what to do.’ 

Earlier this year, the BMA has set out ‘an approximate timeline’ for GP industrial action, with announcements planned for October and collective action to start in late November or early December.

Last month, the union wrote to NHS England to state that they are ‘now in dispute’ based on this year’s imposed GMS contract.

It also alerted all 42 ICBs of ‘significant risks’ which may arise from potential industrial action by GPs later this year.

A BMA spokesperson said: ‘GPs and GP registrars have made it abundantly clear that they don’t think the changes to the GMS contract for 24/25 are acceptable – almost 100% rejected the contract in our referendum.

‘We have written to the Government and ICBs outlining our concerns on how this third contract imposition will impact patients, practices, and GPs. We want to provide solutions for general practice and ensure its viability and sustainability.

‘The ball is firmly in the government’s court and they can choose to help support GP practices and patient services. We will and need to protect general practice for generations to come.’



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So the bird flew away 3 May, 2024 12:21 pm

‘to prepare the path’ – there’ll be no effective general practice left by then, only honours to dish out to some back-channel BMA/GPC/RCGP “diplomats”.
That Caruso of humming, Dave C, best sums up my feelings – “dum di dum di dum”…

John Graham Munro 3 May, 2024 2:40 pm

There will be NO industrial action———-remember, we are dealing with G.Ps

Nicholas Sharvill 3 May, 2024 4:51 pm

Is there a huge risk this will be an own goal. The whole joy (??) of being a GP is to do a variety of things without too much introspections to if it is funded. How can you work properly and professionally if you don’t do an ecg on someone for instance as it is not ‘core’ or diagnose someone with vertigo/hearing problem if you cant see the drum due to wax. Is there a risk people (GP.a) will end up purely as a signpost service , not probably what most at least initially did not see as their career choice. It certainly wont win any public opinion votes either.