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BMA GP Committee calls for negotiations for new ‘fit-for-purpose’ GP contract

BMA GP Committee calls for negotiations for new ‘fit-for-purpose’ GP contract

The BMA’s GP Committee has today called on the Government and NHS England to start negotiations on a ‘refreshed, fit-for-purpose’ GP contract to reflect the changes in the profession over the past few years.

The GPC agreed a motion today calling on the Government to negotiate the next contract, arguing that Covid and the worsening state of general practice means the current one is no longer fit for purpose.

However, the motion states that this new contract will start from 2024/25, and there is no indication that there will be renegotiations for the coming year.

The GPC said it wants a new contract that tackles ‘the challenges of workforce shortages, tired outdated premises, a population with increasing medical complexity’.

The committee also said it wants the contract to provide support to GPs in managing the record backlogs in communities, while reaffirming its support of the independent contractor model.

However, Pulse understands that some members of the committee felt that the motion failed to make any material difference, and was simply calling for negotiations that are set to take place anyhow.

According to a statement from the BMA, the GPC had been discussing NHS England’s proposals for amendments to the current contract.

After the discussion, members voted for the motion to renegotiate the whole contract once the current contract is finished.

The BMA had faced some criticism for its failure to act on a previous motion calling on it to poll the profession about formal industrial action as a result of the Government’s controversial access plans.

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GPC chair Dr Farah Jameel said: ‘Three years ago general practice – as indeed the world – was a different place. For those of us working on the frontline, the pace and scale of demand we are experiencing every day, despite these being intense back in 2019, are now on a level we have never had to deal with before. As a result, every month we continue to haemorrhage GPs from the profession as evidenced with falling numbers of full-time equivalent GPs, which has a direct impact on the care patients can expect to receive.

‘So while the contract practices are currently bound to was agreed in good faith three years ago, it simply does not reflect the experiences and needs of GPs and their patients today.’

She added: ‘Going forward a “business as usual” approach simply will not work, and with new leadership of our committee, this provides an opportunity to renew, reset and renegotiate a contract that delivers for both the profession and patients, and that addresses the key issue impacting general practice today: retention of our workforce.’

However, Dr Zishan Syed, a GPC representative from Kent LMC, said: ‘The motion merely reaffirms what we expect of the GPC, particularly the GPC Executive team.

‘The profession won’t be satisfied by this alone as we desperately need a boost of funding into core contracts rather than the PCN DES. It’s a pandemic, old agreements need to be torn up and new ones made. If not now, when?

‘What the profession desperately needs is reassurance that the strong will it expressed over moving away from the PCN DES in successive conferences will be respected. This is in addition to having a contract fit for purpose with sufficient pay rise to match obscene inflation rates as well as moving away from the increasing drive for online appointments.

‘Practices are collapsing, we cannot wait a few years for vain in the air promises from NHS England. People’s livelihoods are at stake here.’

Motion in full

This Committee acknowledges the 2022/23 proposed contract amendments to the current five-year contract agreement and notes that further proposals are awaited and:
i) Endorses the GPC England executive to negotiate additional support for general practices to deliver the recovery/backlog demands in 2022/23 and 2023/24.
ii) Calls on the Government to support negotiations for a refreshed fit-for-purpose contract agreement beyond the 5-year agreement ending in 2023/24, which supports the independent contractor model.
iii) Instructs GPCE executive to engage the GPCE committee in developing plans and begin a profession-wide consultation on the future of General Practice.


          

READERS' COMMENTS [10]

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

Dr N 10 February, 2022 6:19 pm

Or we go on strike…….after a ballot that isnt published properly.

Turn out The Lights 10 February, 2022 8:05 pm

How’s about a fit for purpose union.More talking the talk but not walking the walk.Prepare for an epic fail.

Kirsty Shepherd 10 February, 2022 9:01 pm

Payment per appointment. It’s the only way

Andrew Jackson 10 February, 2022 11:07 pm

not long till things get better

Malcolm Ridgway 11 February, 2022 10:45 am

We need to reorganise the organisational model of General practice to make if more attractive for existing and new recruits. Whilst it is not about money in terms of GP remuneration, extra funding will be required so we have enough boots in the ground to manage the increasing workload generally and to manage more patients out of hospital.

David Jarvis 11 February, 2022 11:28 am

Can I just see it is about terms and conditions. If the conditions are crap the only way to get bums in consulting rooms is cash. Whilst we are hamstrung with pension rules and tax cliff of 60% at 100k they have rather scuppered the cash boost as not worth it unless you get past £200K realistically. Can’t see them doubling pay but any other increase is likely to lead to less work as Drs keep just below the 100k threshold. Or some major tax reform to make the progression smoother.

Just My Opinion 11 February, 2022 1:52 pm

Payment by appointment is not the answer – the government will not pay a reasonable rate.
Why do you think all the dentists left NHS practice?
Why are hospitals in millions of debt despite being paid for each and every appointment/scan/test they do?
Because the rate they are paid simply does not cover the cost of that activity.
Hospitals are desperate for block contracts with CCGs because they get fixed income, they hate PBR.

Turn out The Lights 11 February, 2022 2:46 pm

Is the NHS fit for purpose with the current model.Stop trying to prop up a failing system at the it will benefit none in the long run.A pay per activity would be a step towards doing what the dentist are doing enmasse and working privately for market rates.It would be a step to dismantling the NHS which at current t&c would be no bad thing.As the song said rip it up and start again.

John Glasspool 13 February, 2022 1:46 pm

What was wrong with the current one? I mean, I was one of the 20% who voted “no” and who warned it was a con-trick. 80% voted “yes” as exhorted to by the great and good of the GPC. Look where it got GPs. But the GPC people all said it was wonderful