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GPs ‘at mercy’ of private firms if partnership model collapses, says Nagpaul

Nagpaul ARM goodwill

GPs will be left at the ‘mercy’ of large commercial providers unless steps are taken to sustain the partnership model, Dr Chaand Nagpaul has said in his last speech as GPC chair.

Dr Nagpaul, who will take over as chair of BMA Council following the BMA’s annual meeting in Bournemouth this week, said that the ‘collapse of the partnership model’ would ‘sink the entire profession’.

He referenced Pulse’s investigation earlier this year around practice closures, and the ‘shrinking pool of partners’ as evidence of the state of the partnership model.

Dr Nagpaul told delegates at the BMA’s Annual Representatives Meeting today: ‘The GP workforce is particularly diverse with some 40% of GPs not covered by the national contract, with increasing numbers wanting to work as freelance locums, salaried, and portfolio roles.

‘Our recent GP survey showed that the shrinking pool of partners are reporting greatest levels of unmanageable workload compared to any other category of GP. It is vital we support each other as one GP profession, since if the partnership model collapses it will sink the entire profession in the process, with the risk that all GPs will in the future be at the mercy of working for large commercial providers, who are likely to have values and an ethos at odds to everything we stand for.’

In his speech, he also said:

Capita’s delivery of support services has ‘shamefully escaped the regulatory vilification that practices would receive from CQC inspections for a fraction of such shortcomings’;

The GPC is pushing for ‘tailored resilience support to be rapidly deployed to practices who are at their most vulnerable’;

The priority for the profession is to reduce the 25% of unnecessary GP appointments, which will be ‘far greater than the political mirage of 5,000 more GPs’;

NHS England’s GP Forward View was proving to be insufficient because it was ‘operating with a wholly inadequate NHS pot’