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BMA urges GPs to move to 15-minute consultations and close patient list

BMA urges GPs to move to 15-minute consultations and close patient list

The BMA has advised practices to immediately start offering consultations of 15 minutes or more; and apply to close their patient list, as part of the fightback against the Government’s new GP access plan.

It set out a range of measures GPs should take to protect their staff and patients and ‘prioritise’ core work amid pressure to return to pre-pandemic ways of working.

In an email bulletin sent to GPs on Friday, the BMA’s GP Committee said that practices ‘should not feel pressured to return to a traditional 10-minute treadmill of face-to-face consultations that are neither good for patients nor clinicians’.

It said: ‘Instead, they should offer patients consultations that are 15 minutes or more [and] apply to close the practice list to focus on the needs of existing patients.’

Other actions it recommended are to:

  • stop all non-GMS work to give priority to GMS work
  • reject all shifted work from secondary care that has not been properly commissioned
  • not accept additional NHS 111 referrals above the contractual one per 3,000 patients
  • stop unnecessary cost-based prescribing audits to focus on quality care
  • decline to do additional extended access sessions to focus on the core work of the practice.

The GPC will ‘provide more guidance in the coming days on what practices could do if NHSE/I and the Government fail to take the action needed to properly support general practice’, it added.

It also encouraged practices to review the BMA’s paper on ‘workload control in general practice’.

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This comes as it is ‘clear that neither the Government nor NHSE/I understands the scale of the crisis impacting general practice, or have provided the necessary measures to support the profession at this critical time’, the GPC said.

Last week, the BMA announced that it has rejected NHS England’s GP access plan and called on practices to ‘disengage from the PCN DES’ – including by submitting undated resignations from it to LMCs.

It also announced that it intends to ballot the profession on industrial action regarding NHS England’s imposition of ‘pay transparency’ and Covid medical exemption certification.

In the new bulletin, the GPC added that by asking GPs and LMCs to ‘disengage’ with the implementation of the access plan, it meant they should not ‘comply’ with the ‘bully charter’.

Complying would ‘involve spending more time on bureaucratic processes, and complying with target driven league tables to “name and shame” GPs’, it said.

The Government’s £250m ‘support’ package for GPs – which set out a range of measures to improve access to practices – was met with fierce criticism from GPs and their leaders.

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey described the package as the health secretary beating GPs with ‘a big stick’.



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

John Clements 25 October, 2021 11:40 am

And what do we do with all the patients who want to be seen that day and can’t be?

Reply moderated
C P 25 October, 2021 11:52 am

No different from any other day. We are not an emergency service. They will need to book an appointment.

Reply moderated
Doc Getmeout 25 October, 2021 12:25 pm


You fight us we fight back.

(the option of taking the slap on the face no longer works)

Slobber Dog 25 October, 2021 1:27 pm

Meanwhile back on earth-

MULAYIL KRISHNAN Gopinath 25 October, 2021 1:52 pm

Why can’t we go back to pre-pandemic ways of working ??

Finola ONeill 25 October, 2021 2:05 pm

I think the disengage with PCN is critical. The new Health and Social care is a giant workload dump rom secondary care onto primary care. We don’t have the staffing to organise the restructure or fulfil the new workload it will provide. Basically they can create new ICS boards and groups, that’s the management and top end. The usual chocolate teapot. But the actual work done on integration will be GP, GP, GP. Whether it is care home management for admission avoidance and managing outside hospital to the MS teams meeting with specialties; we have pain team and psych ones already up and running. Basically the 2 mins from our 3 problem patient consult getting a 1 minute discussion in the teams meeting and them saying try pregablin does not equal specialist referral and care. The “phone a friend” response is neither equivalent clinically or medico legally. How does this even stack up in court when anything goes wrong? I mentioned it in the MS team meeting your honour, yeah right.
They can’t action their big integration plan with general practice and we haven’t got the staff to do it and frankly if we are not in charge of any integration I wouldn’t want to do it even if we did have the staff. Look at the workload dump in the last few years from secondary care, that was prior to the Pandemic. Best I had was the cardiology letter saying how disappointed they were that their urgent cardiology rv was remote and could I do ECG, postural GPs and a carotid massage while patient rigged up to see if arrythmias trigger. I shit you not. The future of specialist care. “phone a friend”. Bloody ridiculous. While the £6 Billion goes on asthma/COPd hubs and community pharmacists for services we already provide without additional funding. Go figure.
Look the real reason the govt, their mouthpiece the Tory press and NHSE are spitting the dummy and bugging us is they have finally realised we are not NHE employees, they have no levers and we’ve decided to stop accepting a flogging. I should imagine this has not gone down well and the appreciation of their lack of power in this dynamic has caused most of their gaslighting and spin.
Anyway. Disengage form PCN and integration process, spend more time on patients and leave them to sweat it. They don’t have any actual leverage
Keep calm and carry on. And make sure you all take your leave. I had a week of and it was long overdue. I’ve been qualified 20 years. Seen periods o stress this bad in the NHS before. Keep our heads down and focus on patient care. It’s the good bit of the job. Leave them to sweat it out. And take your leave.

Reply moderated
Kevlar Cardie 25 October, 2021 2:41 pm

^^^ what she said


“Lack of preparation on the government’s part doesn’t constitute a crisis on our part.”

Patrufini Duffy 25 October, 2021 3:42 pm

This is a better tone.

Yes Finola, like I always said – get out of the PCN.
It will throw spanners into their divide and conquer you model, and less chance of an American ICS tracking and sledging model of you for time immemorial.

Also – why can hospitals discharge patients with one DNA, and you have to hold onto them for countless painful time, and still accept their buggery for same day. And have a minefield process to get them off your list for aggression and resource wasting.

Patrufini Duffy 25 October, 2021 7:20 pm

Give a two to four week appointment face to face. Most will decline.
And then opt for telephone.
The others will self remedy, or DNA later.
And be able to provide you with a gram of a history to go on.

You provided core access, they wasted it.
And the NHS is no wiser.

Jonathan Heatley 26 October, 2021 6:51 am

I agree with Finola- keep your heads down, look after your own patients and pull out of the PCN agenda which aims to homogenise us all. They do this by channelling our pay through the PCN and coerce us that way.