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Annual contract negotiations ‘failing to address GP crisis’

LMC leaders have voted against a motion instructing the BMA’s GP Committee to negotiate a ’wholesale new GMS contract’, at the English LMCs Conference today. 

But they did vote in favour of a motion that said the current annual adjustment to the GMS contract is ‘failing to address the crisis in general practice’ and called for the GPC to negotiate global sum uplifts ’at least over and above inflation’. 

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the GMC, said that many of the changes that need to be made to general practice had only be achieved through annual contracts. 

He said: ‘With the annual negotiated adjustments – we have about 26 motions on this agenda today calling us to do this that and the other, much of which requires an annual negotiation.

‘There is a benefit to negotiating things annually but we’re very mindful that practices want stability as well.

‘It is a tricky balance between the need to address perceived problems on an annual basis – compared with the need to have stability.’

GP Dr Richard Claxton, from Kent LMC, stressed the lack of payments uplifts in line with inflation came on top of escalating costs for practices. He called for a standardised template for all enhanced service reimbursements that takes into account inflation.

He said: ‘£2.58 was the tariff attached in 2006 per patient to the launch of the dispensary services quality scheme (DSQS).

 ‘£2.58 is the tariff for the same scheme today. What mugs we are. Twelve years of non inflationary uplifts despite a wide range of escalating costs for practices.’

He added: ‘We need the GPC to create a template structure for all enhanced services – for schemes such as the DSQS – that automatically build in index linking so that practices aren’t penalised by real-terms falling reimbursements and can provide a fairly funded range of services for our patients.’ 


AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY OXFORDSHIRE: That conference believes core funding for general practice has been eroded to the point that it is now unsustainable and unsafe, and

(i) that annually negotiated adjustments to the GMS contract is a method of negotiation which is failing to address the crisis in general practice CARRIED

(ii) mandates GPC England to negotiate a recurrent global sum uplift at least over and above inflation CARRIED

(iii) calls on NHS England to issue multi-year contracts to general practice to ensure funding stability over the medium-term to support practices to invest and develop LOST

(iv) proposes that payments for enhanced services are index linked CARRIED

(v) mandates GPC England to negotiate a wholesale new GMS contract. LOST