A BMA GPC negotiator has said that the 2022/23 changes to the GP contract have been imposed without the agreement of the trade union.
Under the changes, primary care networks will be required to provide a full range of services from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays as part of the Network DES.
BMA GPC executive member and Doncaster GP Dr Dean Eggitt has said that the BMA GPC executive team ‘did not agree’ to the changes.
The current contract was implemented in 2019/20, and was meant for five years. However, there was to be negotiated incremental changes every year.
But Dr Eggitt said on Twitter: ‘Due to the failure of NHSEI to recognise GP workload and its impact upon patient safety, there will be no negotiated GP contract agreement for 2022-23.
‘NHSEI has chosen to implement the contract without any additional support for safe patient care.’
Another BMA GPC executive member Dr Richard Van Mellaerts said NHS England’s decision to apply changes without agreement from the GPC was ‘deeply disappointing’.
He said there was ‘no recognition of massive pressures in GP, huge patient backlog, increased costs of NI contributions’, meaning ‘patient care will be impacted’.
Dr Van Mellaerts added that NHS England had given the GPC Executive team ‘less than two hours notice of their letter, which was then trailed on WhatsApp’.
The Network DES is separate to the main contract, and these changes signal a shift in requirements for the vast majority of practices that are part of a PCN.
The BMA had said it would ‘leave no stone unturned in trying to find an agreed way forward’.
It also said that the current contract was not ‘fit for purpose’, and negotiators will meet with LMCs and GPs to seek views on a general practice model that is ‘fit for the future’.
Meanwhile, the BMA previously clarified that it is not seeking to renegotiate the current five-year GP contract, outside of the usual annual amendments, following a statement that suggested this might be the case.