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GP leaders don’t want more non-doctor practice partners

GP leaders have voted against encouraging non-GPs to become partners, at the UK-wide LMCs Conference in Liverpool.

GPs in Hampshire and Isle of Wight proposed the motion to ‘encourage non-GP staff to become partners to further increase the sustainability of the partnership model’, adding that the model is ‘the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering general practice’.

However, Dr Pooja Arora, an LMC representitive from Birmingham, said the motion ’sends a very confusing message to the Government’.

She said: ’How can we ask the Government to incentivise news schemes to invest in GPs and yet look at other ways to keep general practice sustainable?’ 

She added: ’This is not about GPs being selfish. This is about GPs who have, who will and always will be the best advocate for their patients and know what is safe practice.’

Her comments come after the health secretary announced a review into partnership model, alongside the BMA and the RCGP

However, other GPs spoke emphatically about the need to save general practice from ongoing waves of practice closures.

Speaking on the motion to ’make the public aware of the mounting threat to the system of general practice’, Dr Shaba Nabi, an LMC representitive from Bristol and a member of the BMA’s agenda committee, said the rate at which GP ‘are handing back their contracts is quite frankly a national disgrace’.

She said that in Bristol three practices handed back their contract in the last two years.

She told the conference: ‘I believe the public have absolutely no idea about how vulnerable their local practice might be and there needs to be a mass media campaign highlighting the loss of their local GP.’

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This comes after a Bristol practice with over 17,000 patients handed back its contract because it can no longer offer a ‘fair and adequate’ service to patients in December.

Motion in full

HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT: That conference believes the partnership model to be the most efficient and cost-effective way of delivering general practice and demands that government:

(i) does everything possible to support and sustain this model

(ii) invest in an incentive scheme to encourage GPs into permanent roles

(iii) needs to explore all avenues to encourage older GPs to remain in practice

(iv) encourage non-GP staff to become partners to further increase the sustainability of the partnership model.

AVON: That conference is concerned about the number of recent practice closures and

(i) believes that unmanaged dispersals lead to patient safety issues

(ii) believes that more needs to be done to make the public aware of the mounting threat to the system of general practice

(iii) demands details of the contractual arrangements to provide ongoing primary care after a practice closure, are made public

(iv) instructs GPC to take urgent action to ensure the protection of ‘last man standing’ GPs from any additional costs of resignation or retirement resulting from practice closure