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BMA gives Government 48 hours to improve contract offer to avoid ‘regrettable’ events

BMA gives Government 48 hours to improve contract offer to avoid ‘regrettable’ events

The Government has 48 hours ‘to improve’ its offer on the next GP contract, or it will ‘set off a chain of events which will be deeply regrettable’, the BMA GP committee chair has warned.

The committee has re-entered negotiations with the Government over the contract, with a final offer expected to be put to the profession in a referendum next week.

Last month, Pulse exclusively revealed that the Government had initially offered a 1.9% uplift to baseline GMS funding for the 2024/25 contract.

The BMA said this offer was ‘grossly inadequate’ and the GPC voted it down, instructing negotiators to seek further talks ahead of a referendum to members.

In a post on X, GPC England chair Dr Bramall-Stainer said that now the Government has 48 hours to improve the offer.

She said: ‘The Government has 48 hours to improve on the 2024/25 contract. Otherwise they will set off a chain of events which will be deeply regrettable.

‘I genuinely like Andrea Leadsom [the primary care minister]. But can she overcome NHS England or DHSC or the Treasury? Desperate to clawback whatever funds/underspend they can to guarantee pre-election tax cuts?

‘Therein lies the conundrum. If not, the GPC knows what comes next.’

The referendum on the offer was initially meant to happen in the second week of February, but now the union has confirmed it will take place from 7 to 27 March.

In an update, GPC England deputy chair Dr David Wrigley said: ‘Following the unanimous rejection by GPC England of the contract offer on the table from the Government, our officer team has reopened talks about the GMS contract changes for April 2024 onwards, giving the Government until the end of the month to present significant improvements.

‘A letter has also been sent to the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, outlining the perilous state of general practice and reminding him of his supportive words when he was chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee. We are now waiting to hear back from NHSE and the DHSC.’

He also said that ‘whatever is on the table’ at the end of the month will be put to BMA members next week.

‘This won’t stop the Government from imposing the contract changes, but it will give us vital insight into how the profession feels about the contract, and where we go next,’ Dr Wrigley added.

Previously Dr Bramall-Stainer told Pulse that the outcomes of the referendum ‘may lead’ to the GPC considering an indicative strike ballot for GPs in the spring and a formal ballot after April, and that the process could go into later this year, around the time of the general election.

According to a letter seen by Pulse, the GPC is preparing for industrial action with GPC deputy chair Dr Julius Parker saying it ‘is clear’ improvements to the Government’s offer demanded by the committee may not happen, in which case the current contract offer would be imposed for the third year in a row.

He said the union is considering discounted membership in preparation for industrial action, while the GPC will ‘provide detailed guidance’ on how independent contractors can strike.

The new GP contract will reduce the number of QOF targets in order to reduce bureaucracy, while nurses are also confirmed to become included in ARRS.



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

Rob M 28 February, 2024 11:03 am

I’m sure the govt will be quaking, not…
Time for the BMA to step up to the mark – let us see what Plan B really looks like

Douglas Callow 28 February, 2024 11:13 am

no good buried in Pulse
GB public blissfully unaware of GP success story despite funding constraints
Need high profile media friendly voices repeating week after week the message and hope the penny drops
As it stands GB public trot out DH HMG weaponised ‘still cant get an appt with GP and not much else
2’ care feels almost untouchable

Some Bloke 28 February, 2024 1:53 pm

told a patient today about 1.9% pay uplift “offer” and possible IA. he didn’t laugh. think everyone gets the maths don’t add up to a healthy balance sheet.
something needs to be done as we can not continue to absorb the rising costs of everything with unfunded/partially funded increases in staff salaries dictated to us by this sh.i.te government

So the bird flew away 28 February, 2024 2:02 pm

February? Then March? Now ballot after April, and process going into later this year, possibly election time?
If this cumbersome and heavily-signalled process is the BMA’s idea of a threatening posture, then we’re doomed.
Where’s the BMA’s parallel engagement with TV and print MSM to lay out what’s happening to their GP practices before the public?

Simmering Frog 28 February, 2024 2:07 pm

We are going to get it back in other ways. Our annual leave is going up to 12 weeks for all partners.

SUBHASH BHATT 28 February, 2024 3:38 pm

Poor patient are the sufferers . Huthi attack, we pay more at petrol pump,
Bogus car insurance claims , we pay higher premiums, every utilities , bank , insurance company , internet providers, mobile phone etc write to us as to why they increased cost, as if that would .

The Chief Socialist 28 February, 2024 5:48 pm

Looks like DHSC/ NHSE have finaljybflund their match! If they are looking for a fight! The BMA/ GPC are finally sounding like a body with balls (no puns intended)