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GPs to see ‘minimal changes’ to their contract from April

Practices can expect ‘minimal changes’ to the GP contract in 2018/19, according to a presentation given to local GPs by the BMA.

The presentation, given at GPC ‘roadshow’ events, said that while current contract negotiations have ‘yet to be completed’, there would be ‘minimal changes planned’ for the 2018/19 contract.

The PowerPoint presentation from the BMA, seen by Pulse, adds that there will be no changes to the QOF but that a review for 2019/20 is under way.

It also said the BMA would not accept another pay uplift capped at 1% and indicated that it was being unsuccessful in negotiating for GPs to charge existing patients for some NHS services.

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said in July that his intention for the contract negotiations with NHS Employers was that the QOF should be ‘retained but reformed’.

Wessex LMCs chief executive Dr Nigel Watson told Pulse most GPs supported the need for a review ‘because QOF is a fairly blunt instrument’.

He said: ‘It’s done a lot of good but we’re chasing cholesterol’s in 90 year olds where actually the target should be in the 40 years olds, so I think having a review of QOF is a good idea.’

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Meanwhile, the BMA presentation also said the ‘GPC cannot agree to another 1% uplift’ in pay this year. As reported earlier this week, it is calling for GPs to get a pay increase in line with the Retail Price Index, plus 2% in its response to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

Dr Paul Roblin, chief executive of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMCs, said that to settle for the 1% uplift favoured by the Government would be ‘disastrous’. 

He said: ‘I have said for a long time that GMS funding stream is neglected and that was the main cause of general practice problems so just to accept 1% uplift as the Government seems to want to offer would be disastrous. We have to fight for something better.’

He added: ‘We need a larger GMS-per-capita funding stream, per annum, in order to buy a larger workforce and relieve the stresses of the current workforce so the job becomes more popular.’

The presentation also states that NHS England is opposed to practices ‘providing their patients with private minor surgery for non-NHS commissioned services’.

This comes after GPs renewed their call for the Government to allow GP practices to charge their own patients for non-NHS treatments at the last LMCs conference.

The BMA declined to comment.