This site is intended for health professionals only

99% of GPs vote ‘no’ to accepting imposed contract

99% of GPs vote ‘no’ to accepting imposed contract

GPs have overwhelmingly voted not to accept the Government’s imposed contract changes which are due to come in next week.

In a referendum organised by the BMA, which closed yesterday, GP members were asked: ‘Do you accept the 2024/25 GMS contract for general practice from Government and NHS England?’

Out of 19,000 GPs and registrars who took part, 99.2% voted ‘no’.

It is not a formal trade union ballot but a ‘temperature check’ of the profession, which will inform future formal ballots on potential collective action by GPs in protest at the Government’s successive contract impositions.

GPC England is meeting today to discuss the referendum outcome and the profession’s next possible steps.

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.

GPCE chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer said: ‘Today’s overwhelming result signals the start of our fight back, and we will bring our patients with us.

‘GP teams across England have almost 1.4 million patient contacts a day. That’s a lot of conversations, and we all want the same thing: access to continuity of care with their family doctor in a local GP surgery that has the right balance of GPs, nurses, and other staff, and is well-resourced to meet their needs today, tomorrow and in the months and years ahead.

‘It’s what patients want, and it’s what GPs want too.’

She added: ‘When I qualified as a GP in 2008, general practice was “the jewel in the crown of the NHS”. Fast forward to 2024, we are witnessing a “constructive dismissal” of general practice across England where £1.4bn of Treasury funds for practice staff are forbidden to be spent on recruiting more GPs and practice nurses.

‘This is despite almost 2,000 fewer GPs, more than 1,300 lost practices and six million more patients in the past decade. In fact, we now have hundreds of GPs unemployed  – this is madness.

‘The unanimity of the vote in our referendum demonstrates the depth of feeling among the profession. In 20 years, I’ve never known GPs to be so frustrated, angry and upset. We are unable to offer our patients the care they want and need.’

Closing the Pulse LIVE London conference with a keynote speech yesterday, Dr Bramall-Stainer said 2,400 additional GPs have joined BMA since February, meaning 70% of qualified GPs are now members.

GPs need a ‘new contract’ after years of being ‘bullied and gaslit’, she told the conference.

Today, Dr Bramall-Stainer said: ‘GPC England meets today, to consider the profession’s next steps, in a move emboldened by 2,400 newly registered BMA GP members.’



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

John Graham Munro 28 March, 2024 11:25 am

Don’t care what the result is———nothing will happen——-you see

Darren Tymens 28 March, 2024 11:34 am

I don’t share your nihilism, JGM.
I think this is the best result that could have been achieved.
The PR wars will now begin.
We need to be clear this is NOT about GP pay, it is about having the resources we need to be able to offer a high-quality and accessible service to our patients, and decent terms and conditions for our staff.
Patients will hopefully understand this, having seen the deterioration in the care offered by the wider NHS and the stealth-dismantling of traditional general practice.
There are plenty of options for industrial action that don’t include closing the front door.
Rescuing NHS general practice needs to be the single biggest election issue, preferably with a simple message, such as ‘11% of overall NHS funding please.’

Andrew Jackson 28 March, 2024 11:57 am

Although money is important for sustainability I need workload control more. This involves limiting workload to whatever the current GP capacity can offer and only adding new work as the workforce grows. We need to go back to a sustainable day job that can be done for a whole career rather than a small increase in funding

Pradeep Bahalkar 28 March, 2024 12:02 pm

We have given GPC overwhelming mandate to negotiate. That’s 1st step in right direction. So they know they have our backing. This will give them leverage in negotiation with DH/NHSE. Now lets start working to rule as per BMA and limit our patient contacts to safe working limits. This will really increase pressure on Government.
Still surprised that 39% BMA members did not feel need to vote !!!!!! Either they don’t have trust in BMA/ GPC or don’t care or actually happy about contract.

So the bird flew away 28 March, 2024 12:12 pm

Lame Duck HMG posing as tough on fiscal policy, the Labour Pretenders posing as the Panacea, GPCE positing a tough talking strategy (but action delayed until November, and only if approved…yawn)
Thus starts the Wars of the Posers.

Centreground Centreground 28 March, 2024 1:43 pm

In this scenario, the BMA and leadership have performed extremely well and are using a measured strategy which will require time to evolve.
The shameful waste of billions of pounds of NHS funding by PCN Clinical directors/PCNs and the same small group of recycled perennial board/ICB/PCN /LMC GPs with little accountability who resurface in tandem with the government who have clearly overseen an abhorrent abuse of NHS taxpayer funding to the tune of £1.4 billion per year and this is as yet unrecognised by the public.
The pointless appointment of PCN CDs via offering monetary rewards to this group to oversee this travesty at great cost to the public and to the untold detriment of colleagues particularly younger GPs is yet unknown to the public who are equally unaware that this funding is a cynical and deliberate downgrading of General Practice and cannot be used for GPs or practice nurses.
Hence this continues to be used inefficiently and in a significant proportion for unnecessary AAR staff who may have been better served had they been allocated to their correct positions/roles/needs and not abused by PCN CDs /training practices/HMG/NHSE for their own personal agendas or financial gains.
Once more, ARRs have an important role but not to replace GPs. A similar situation is occurring in hospitals.
The government /NHSE rhetoric referring to increase in NHS numbers who are constituted mainly of less experienced , less qualified staff is specifically intended to mislead the public in that higher qualified staff such as GPs are excluded from this recruitment. This smokescreen is factually not exposed to the wider population.
It is these smaller groups of GPs as well as the government who should be held to account for years of lost opportunity and the detriment caused to NHS by this devastating misuse of NHS taxpayer funding and downgrading of NHS Primary Care.

Some Bloke 28 March, 2024 2:05 pm

yes, an overwhelming mandate to negotiate!
demand freezing any future planned increases in PCN DES activities and redirecting all freed resources to the practices, for us to choose how we use them. Not for nhs bureaucrats to micro-manage us!

Rob M 28 March, 2024 5:02 pm

An ‘overwhelming’ majority of those who voted BUT 39% of those who were eligible did not vote presumably those alluded to above – including certain partners who can keep their profits rolling by slashing salaried doc costs with more and more noctors. For them this offer is still presumably good enough when compared to what a renegotiated contract could mean.
This overwhelming majority might in reality be more like a 60:40 split in how the whole GP profession sees it – and not quite the mandate GPC looking for. Applying a divide and rule tactic has always worked for previous governments and sadly General Practice is more divided between partners and their salaried servants than ever

Liquorice Root- Bitter and Twisted. 28 March, 2024 6:35 pm

Voting was a fiasco.
3 links requested for voting all non functional.
No link from my BMA account.
Very disappointing.

Dave Haddock 2 April, 2024 4:37 pm

More fake news from the BMA, regurgitated without question by Pulse.
Of 54,000 UK GPs, 19,000 voted against the new contract; that is 35% not 99%.
BMA members are not a random sample of GPs, but a self-selected group.
Ever wonder why people don’t trust Journalists?

Hank Beerstecher 3 April, 2024 12:22 pm

Yes I never realised what happened to those joining the ranks after the profession, through GPC negotiating, agreed to contract impositions in 2004, saddling the future generations of GPs with this burden. (COI one of the 20% ‘no’ voters for both votes and resigned from BMA afterwards for the (non)representation of the profession)