The BMA’s GP Committee has voted to pause all meetings with NHS England until the disagreement around face-to-face appointments in practices is resolved.
An emergency motion, revealed exclusively by Pulse yesterday, said the GPC has ‘no confidence’ in NHS England’s executive directors.
It was passed overwhelmingly at GPC England’s online meeting today.
Announcing the result in a statement, the BMA said GP leaders had delivered a ‘damning vote of no confidence in NHS England leadership over [its] failure to support general practice’.
BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘For the representatives of England’s GPs to pass a vote of no confidence in NHS England’s senior leaders, is a clear wake-up call to NHS England and also for the Government.
‘Without doubt, the motivation for this comes entirely from the widespread anger, frustration and disappointment felt by tens of thousands of GPs about the cavalier ways in which they have been treated and badly let down by the Government and NHS England.’
The ‘woefully badly-judged letter’ sent to practices last week was ‘the final straw for many hard-working GPs who have gone above and beyond over the last year’, he added.
He said: ‘For NHS England to glibly announce that practices should now see even more patients face-to-face without providing anything in the way of extra support or guidance on how to continue to protect patients and staff from the risk of a potentially lethal virus, is at best nonsense, but at worst extremely dangerous.
‘The profession has had enough of ill-conceived top-down directives that fail to consider the day-to-day reality in scores of doctors’ surgeries. NHS England and the Government must shoulder the responsibility and face the reality of years of failing to value, support and invest in general practice to ensure that GPs and their teams have the capacity to meet the growing needs of the population.’
Dr Vautrey added: ‘This motion sounds a much-needed warning bell, rung by GPs at the end of their tether, emotionally and physically exhausted by the past 14 months.
‘The onus is now on NHS England and ministers to fix a broken system so that patients as well as doctors have a GP service that is fit for purpose in every way.’
It follows calls among grassroots GPs for the resignation of NHS England’s medical director for primary care amid the furore created by its letter – with a petition to that effect racking up over a thousand signatures so far.
Motion in full
GPC England is outraged by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s lack of understanding of the pressures facing General Practice and:
- i) Calls for formal BMA action by escalating concerns about NHS England’s apparent lack of knowledge of the applicable contracts and regulations relating to the delivery of General Practice services
- ii) Seeks both senior explanation and public action from the Department of Health and Social Care in view of the unacceptable decision to publish letter BO497 on 13 May 2021
- iii) Has no confidence in the Executive Directors of NHS England
- iv) Calls upon the Chair of BMA UK Council to support the Chair of GPC England in demanding an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, to discuss the spiralling crisis in General Practice
- v) Calls for GPC England’s Executive to immediately cease all formal meetings with NHS England until a motion is brought back to GPC England by the Executive, requesting a vote on their recommendation that sufficient steps have been taken to restore the Committee’s confidence in the Executive Directors of NHS England, to justify the resumption of such meetings.