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BMA instructed to quit negotiating new GP work under ‘Trojan horse’ PCN DES


BMA instructed to quit negotiating


Exclusive England LMCs have demanded that the BMA do not negotiate any new work or funding for GPs via the PCN DES beyond 2023, Pulse understands.

The vote on a motion concerning the future of the PCN DES took place during a section of today’s England LMCs conference that was ‘closed’ to the public.

However, Pulse has been told by attendees that the five-part motion was passed in all parts.

The motion said the conference ‘instructs GPC England to refuse to negotiate new work, funding for PCNs or an extension of the PCN contract beyond its 2023 end date’.

In its place, GPC should ‘negotiate that PCN funding be moved into the core contract’, the conference ruled.

According to the motion, LMCs believe PCNs are a ‘Trojan horse’ and a ‘failed project’ which was ‘mis-sold’ to general practice.

And it went further to say PCNs are an ‘existential threat’ to the GP independent contractor model.

Meanwhile, issues with ‘workload, staffing, estate, supervision and HR’ exceed any benefit from the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS), the conference ruled.

The last part of the motion demanded that GPC England ensure the withdrawal is straightforward and will not destabilise practices or the provision of patient services.

It comes as BMA’s indicative ballot showed over half of GP practices are willing to opt out of the PCN DES as part of a range of protest measures concerning the Government’s GP access fund.

Motion as it appeared on the agenda

AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE: That conference believes that PCNs are a Trojan Horse and a failed project which was mis-sold to the profession and: 

(i) believes PCNs pose an existential threat to the independent contractor model 

(ii) that the workload, staffing, estate, supervision and HR issues outweigh any benefit derived from ARRS 

(iii) instructs GPC England to refuse to negotiate new work, funding for PCNs or an extension of the PCN contract beyond its 2023 end date

(iv) instructs GPC England to negotiate that PCN funding be moved into the core contract 

(v) instructs GPC England to ensure practices are able to easily withdraw from the DES in a straightforward way that will not destabilise the practice withdrawing, other local practices or the provision of patient services.

Source: BMA

READERS' COMMENTS [7]

Robert James Andrew Mackenzie Koefman 26 November, 2021 5:36 pm

At last people agree with the minority of us who never signed up in the first place. Well done

Malcolm Ridgway 26 November, 2021 5:50 pm

The great lost opportunity of the recent contractual changes to support PCNs and provide much needed extra staff (ARRS) is that NHSE then created a whole load of targets and schemes that more than utilised the funding and staff, rather than allowing General Practice, with PCNs, to re-organise how they work to provide better access and care for their patients and a better work life balance for GPs and staff. They should scrap most of the DES and IIF stuff and let PCNs and practices develop their own plans, using the extra funds and additional roles staff, as to how they would improve primary care in their localities.

Patrufini Duffy 26 November, 2021 6:02 pm

Yes RF. I have always said – read the contract and anticipate the buggery heading your way. Why are you making this complicated for yourself – opt out.

Mark Funnell 27 November, 2021 12:29 am

I agree we need to stop this project. PCNs are the mechanism to move general practice into the ICS model at scale & the independent contractor model will likely go if we continue down this route.
Also it creates income that cannot be taken as “profit” and has to be “reinvested” & more & more of our funding is planned to move this way which will seriously limit the profitability of practices in time.
The ARRS is not working well for areas where recruitment is difficult like mine & these roles, possibly with the exception of pharmacists, are not helping in reality & are certainly not replacements for having sufficient GPs to meet the ever rising demand.
I am fearful that as the government is committed to the ICS model we will have difficulty negotiating our way out of PCNs but I 100% back the decision to try!

Not on your nelly 27 November, 2021 3:47 pm

Well said Mark!

Finola ONeill 28 November, 2021 1:12 am

It’s of no relevance what the government is committed to. The PCN DES is the mechanism to remove our autonomy as independent practitioners and make us good NHSE employees who can be controlled adequately. We are not employees, we contract to provide services and there is no question of trying to negotiate out of the PCN. I think you misunderstand the strength of our position. It’s a DES, we withdraw. We have an independent contract outside this DES. We provide 90% of NHS consultations for 8% of NHS budget. There is no trying going on. We withdraw. And we renegotiate better funding for our basic contract. There is no patient care and no NHS without primary care. There is no try mate. You are misunderstanding the legal position. This kind of misunderstanding has led to the previous mistakes we’ve made, accepting awful terms and an ever increasing workload. Looks like GPs are finally getting wise.

Patrufini Duffy 29 November, 2021 10:34 pm

Opted out.