Representatives attending the annual conference of UK local medical committees (LMCs) next month will vote on policy to reduce core GP hours to 9am until 5pm.
Current core opening hours in UK general practice are 8am to 6.30pm.
Avon LMC will propose the motion which says ‘urgent action’ should be taken to manage the imbalance between workload and workforce within general practice, and ‘demands that the core GP contract is reduced to the hours of 09.00 to 17.00’.
Another motion to be debated said the public have come out of the pandemic with ‘additional and unrealistic expectations of general practice’, and another called for GPC UK to ‘further develop, publicise and strongly advocate worked-up plans to introduce safe workload limits’.
Meanwhile, in light of the pandemic GP face-to-face row, Northern Irish representatives will propose that the GPC UK works ‘proactively’ to ensure that ‘the public know that their practices are, and have been, open’.
The conference will also vote on topics including:
- changing GMC regulations to allow the ‘immediate removal of an individual from the practice list for any form of abuse’;
- a proposal for hospital doctors to spend a mandatory period of their training in general practice;
- determining that widespread rejection of primary care referrals by secondary care’ could result in ‘patient harm and significant missed diagnoses’;
- researching the benefits of a no-fault medical compensation scheme to replace the current tort-based system in light of the recent folic acid legal case; and
- enhanced funding for GP practices serving deprived areas.
Meanwhile, reflecting the recent fallout within BMA England’s GP Committee, West Sussex LMC is due to propose a motion to ‘remind’ GPC UK that the LMCs conference ‘exists to formulate policy which GPC UK should endeavour to implement’.
The in-person UK LMCs Conference will take place in York on 10-11 May.
Highlight motions in full
AVON: That conference believes urgent action should be taken to manage the workload / workforce mismatch within general practice and demands that the core GP contract is reduced to the hours of 09.00 to 17.00.
AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN: That conference has observed that the public are emerging from the pandemic with additional and unrealistic expectations of general practice, and:
(i) believes that the continued political and media pressure for general practice to meet demand over need in a chronically underfunded health service is unacceptable
(ii) believes that more support is needed for patients to make informed choices for their personalised care that avoids duplication, is truly necessary and free from harm, and prevents or reduces medical intervention
(iii) believes that requesting written evidence of support from a GP for non-medical issues is inappropriate
(iv) demands an education campaign for patients to encourage the use of self-care
(v) demands an education campaign for patients to appropriately utilise pharmacy, optometry and dental services.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE: That conference believes that the continued political and media pressure for general practice to meet demand over need in a chronically underfunded health service is not only unacceptable, but is also directly responsible for the demise of general practice, and:
(i) calls on the Secretary of State and DHSC to cease using the media to desecrate general practice, and to be honest with patients about what services can be offered through the NHS
(ii) calls on GPC UK to further develop, publicise and strongly advocate worked-up plans to introduce safe workload limits for general practice that does not constitute a breach of contract.
AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY CLEVELAND: That conference, with regards to current workload within general practice:
(i) believes that patient safety is paramount
(ii) recognises that reducing the number of patient contacts will have an impact on access
(iii) calls on GPC UK to coordinate the creation of credible agreed workload measures that are acceptable to the profession and to the wider NHS
(iv) calls on GPC UK to further develop, publicise and strongly advocate worked-up plans to introduce safe workload limits for general practice that do not constitute a breach of contract
(v) calls on the GPCs to use data on safe workload to renegotiate the GMS contracts with workload limits in order to protect all general practice staff and patients.
AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY NORTHERN IRELAND CONFERENCE OF LMCs: That conference applauds the efforts of health and care workers during the pandemic, and:
(i) praises general practice for continuing to deliver safe and effective healthcare throughout, including face to face consultations where appropriate, alongside the vaccination programme
(ii) calls upon GPC UK to work alongside Northern Ireland GPC, GPC Wales, GPC Scotland and GPC England in proactively ensuring that the public know that their practices are, and have been, open
(iii) condemns the ill-informed and unwarranted negativity and hostility by the press and on social media towards general practice
(iv) calls for changes to the GMS (General Medical Services) regulations to allow for the immediate removal of an individual from the practice list for any form of abuse
(v) calls on the BMA to lobby for increased sentencing for those abusing general practice staff.
AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY LEEDS: That conference is seriously concerned by the impact of waiting times for secondary care NHS treatment, both on patients who are waiting unacceptably long times for appointments and on practice workload, and:
(i) believes current government initiatives to reduce waiting times have been wholly inadequate
(ii) demands that governments provide additional funding for practices to support the additional workload they are dealing with
(iii) calls on the four governments to provide clear plans for reducing lengthy waiting times so that appropriate care can be provided at the right time
(iv) believes that the widespread rejection of primary care referrals by secondary care could lead to patient harm and significant missed diagnoses
(v) insists that if a referral from general practice is declined for whatever reason, then this should be communicated by a named, accountable individual.
NORFOLK AND WAVENEY: That conference asks GPC UK to work with relevant bodies across the UK to ensure that all secondary care speciality training should include a mandatory three-month placement within general practice.
AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY WESTMINSTER: That conference is deeply concerned by the rise in health inequalities in our communities and calls upon GPC to:
(i) conduct a review into the impact of current national and local general practice funding models including funding formulae and outcomes payments
(ii) negotiate enhanced funding for GP practices serving areas of significant deprivation to resource addressing the additional workload
(iii) negotiate a requirement for a health impact analysis to be carried out by commissioners when any new housing or care homes are located in these areas of deprivation
(iv) negotiates for fairer funding of vaccinations which does not financially discriminate against practices with low vaccine uptake.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE: That conference notes the recent ‘folic acid’ legal case in the media, and supports GPC UK researching the benefits of a no-fault medical compensation scheme to replace the current tort-based system, with the intention of providing this data to the government to add weight to their patient-centered reviews, particularly assessing whether a no-fault scheme would:
(i) reduce GPs’ anxiety associated with possible litigation and therefore reduce defensive medicine
(ii) improve doctors’ and patients’ experiences of resolving a claim, particularly with regard to mental health impact
(iii) improve patient safety by enabling doctors to more freely admit to adverse events and share learning from these episodes.
WEST SUSSEX: That conference reminds GPC UK that conference exists to formulate policy which GPC UK should endeavour to implement, and calls for GPC UK to publish:
(i) an annual business plan, incorporating conference policy
(ii) a formal biannual report against the business plan, published on the BMA website, and made available to LMCs at least one month prior to the closing date of motion submissions to conference
(iii) a quarterly report against the business plan to LMCs.