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GP leaders vote to hold special LMC conference after rejecting contract deal

Exclusive The BMA’s GP Committee has voted to hold a special LMCs conference on networks following a meeting in London today.

GPC England members voted 80% to reject the contract deal on the table from NHS England at its regular meeting.

The BMA said that the details about the package on offer were ‘confidential’, but added that GPC England will now return to negotiations with NHS England.

There has been outcry by the profession against the specifications set out by NHS England for the network DES, which 99% of practices are signed up to. 

The BMA had reassured GPs that concerns about new network DES proposals are being heard ‘loud and clear’ and these will form the ‘basis’ of its contract negotiations with NHS England.

However, the vote by the GPC is the strongest indication about its opposition to NHS England’s direction of travel yet.

The recent publication of the draft network specifications has raised concern amongst many GPs in the profession, leading to multiple LMCs advising practices not to sign the network DES contract as it stands.

A Pulse survey recently revealed 80% of GP partners will pull out of the network DES contract if proposals go ahead.

Concerns were first raised over NHS England’s proposals for primary care networks when it was revealed GPs will have to carry out fortnightly care home visits.

GPC England chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: The message from GPs in recent weeks has been a clear one: proposals put forward by NHS England and NHS Improvement before Christmas have clearly been judged by the profession as unreasonable, and completely unachievable.

’At a time when demand and workload for practices are unprecedented, GPs working on the front line felt these draft specifications piled on more pressure and would undermine primary care networks that were only just getting off the ground.

’This overload would therefore put in jeopardy all of the good work and progress PCNs have already made for the good of both staff and patients.

’Even in the short time GPs were given to respond to the consultation, NHS E/I were overwhelmed with feedback, which was unanimous in its condemnation. Now GPC England – which is elected to represent GPs across England – has made its own position clear and we will now go back to NHSE/I to seek a way forward.

’This is therefore not the end of the process, we have a clear mandate from our colleagues, to negotiate a deal that truly benefits and safeguards general practice, family doctors and their patients.’