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GPC reveals 8.7% funding demand as contract referendum opens

GPC reveals 8.7% funding demand as contract referendum opens

GPs are being asked for their views on the 2024/25 contract in a referendum launched by the BMA today.

During a contract webinar yesterday, the union’s GP committee also revealed that it had asked the Government and NHS England for a 8.7% core contract uplift.

The contract includes a funding increase of just over 2%, although the Government has said it will consider a pending uplift recommendation expected from the DDRB.

The GP referendum, which closes 27 March, asks BMA members: ‘Do you accept the 2024/25 GMS contract for general practice from Government and NHS England?’

Respondents are able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in answer to the question.

Dr Bramall-Stainer said the referendum will be ‘a temperature check’ for the profession.

It will be done through software company Civica so that it is ‘impartial’, ‘independent’ and ‘cannot be ignored’.

Dr Bramall-Stainer said: ‘This referendum needs to be taken seriously, and I have been frustrated myself that we have not done more, quicker, over the years, but that is why I’m sitting here now as chair and you are listening to me having this conversation.

‘Those of us who are really patient centred, who would never dream of taking any action are thinking “I’m losing my business” and when you lose your business it is emotional because you feel such a responsibility to your staff.’

Dr Bramall-Stainer explained that since 2019 CPI inflation increased by 21.2%, while core contract investment only increased by 12.5%, and that is how the 8.7% uplift demand was calculated.

She said: ‘What we asked for, which is not the moon on a stick, is that 8.7% funding gap to be filled to give us some stability, because this year is all about safety and stability and hope.’

The referendum was postponed from the second week of February due to the GPC pushing for a better deal but this did not materialise.

The deal has already received strong criticism from the profession, with Dr Bramall-Stainer saying that the imposition forms part of an intentional ‘ideological dismantling’ of NHS general practice.

The BMA has set out an approximate timeline for next steps following the result of the referendum, which could include industrial action to coincide with the next general election.

Earlier this week, the RCGP wrote to health secretary Victoria Atkins pointing out that the contract ‘will make it even harder for GPs to deliver the care our patients need at a time when general practice is already in crisis’.

In the letter, RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne said: ‘This derisory funding plan for general practice will have real life consequences for the profession, the service we provide and, most importantly, for our patients.

‘This is sadly part of an ongoing trend of neglecting primary care, with the Government’s own figures showing the proportion of ICB direct commissioning spend on primary medical care has fallen to 8.4% in 2023/24 – a smaller share than in any of the previous eight years.’



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Richard Wood 7 March, 2024 2:37 pm

The DDRB is for salaried (and now partner) pay uplift. The contract is (meant to be) about investment in general practice core. No suprises how DHSC/NHSE use the two interchangeably. A pathological focus on pay, the top line, and not seeing anything else beyond that in GMS.

John Graham Munro 7 March, 2024 4:17 pm

I still maintain that nothing substantive will happen———–my G.Ps will just come in to work 5 minute later in the mornings———–”because they are taking industrial action”————but leave the major and disruptive stuff to others

David Church 9 March, 2024 10:32 am

With inflation over the last 4 years being closer to 120% at shop checkouts and fuel/energy/telephone bills (BT contracts are “inflation plus 3% per year”), whilst uplift to GMS has been 2.5% (compound) per year (or approx 11.5% over 4 Years), how will 8.7 % this year be enough to rectify lack of raises for employees, cover increased expenses costs, and pay restoration sufficient to attract doctors back to being GP Partners (with a long-term stable view of business sustainability) ??
What is needed is pay restiration for all employed staff and Partners, and resturation of innovation funding, of probably about 120%-11% = approx 108% this year, and then maybe 6% for 2024-25. But prospect of political vaccilation back to ‘austerity’ being not unlikely in the near future, we have no good implication of business sustainability for GP practices!
Should not GP Practices, as ‘small businesses’ receive support from Government? Perhaps not, because of our ethos of serving the public need on a NHS basis.
Important that voters understand the plans for the NHS at the next election.