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GP leaders to vote on ballot of profession on PCN DES


PCN vote


GP leaders in England will vote on a motion calling for a ballot of the profession before any future extension or changes to the Primary Care Networks (PCN) DES.

The motion, which will be presented to the England LMC’s conference later this month (27 November), says this comes as the BMA’s GP Committee ‘has never secured a robust democratic mandate for the PCN DES’.

The news comes as the introduction of PCN DES this year was mired in controversy, including becoming subject to a special LMC conference which voted to reject it.

However, after it was endorsed by the GPC, 98% of practices signed up to the DES in May. At the time, NHS England’s announcement said that the ‘near total’ uptake ‘reflects support’ for PCNs which are ‘helping improve care for patients across the country’.

Practices were also given an opportunity to opt out of the DES in September, after NHS England updated it.

The motion to be debated asks that the LMC conference ‘asks the GPC England to secure a firm mandate from the entire profession by means of ballot before negotiating any extension or changes to the PCN DES for the year [2021/22]’.

The conference also focuses on the recent issue taken by GPs over NHS England’s messaging around GPs staying open for face-to-face appointments during the pandemic.

One motion proposes: ‘That conference finds abhorrent and insulting much of NHSEI’s communications with the profession, the press and the public and demands that NHSEI apologise and retract all communications that have implied general practitioners have not been fully involved in patient care throughout the pandemic, staining our reputation and inciting complaints.’

Another ‘deplores’ the action of NHSEI in ‘failing to support GPs in the use of their professional judgement in deciding when and if a patient needs a face-to-face appointment’.

It is calling for a national campaign to explain why face-to-face GP appointments are ‘not always necessary or safe’.

This comes in light of health secretary Matt Hancock previously saying that GPs should do ‘all’ consultations remotely going forward.

Other motions to be debated at the conference include calls for a centrally commissioned service to deliver a future Covid-19 vaccination and for the GPC to oppose NHS England plans to  award 20-year APMS contracts to digital providers in under-doctored areas, as revealed by Pulse.

Motions in full

DEVON: That conference notes that the GPC England has never secured a robust democratic mandate for the PCN DES and so again asks the GPC England to secure a firm mandate from the entire profession by means of ballot before negotiating any extension or changes to the PCN DES for the year 2021 / 2022. 

GATESHEAD AND SOUTH TYNESIDE: That conference finds abhorrent and insulting much of NHSEI’s communications with the profession, the press and the public and: (i) demands that NHSEI apologise and retract all communications that have implied general practitioners have not been fully involved in patient care throughout the pandemic, staining our reputation and inciting complaints(ii)deplores the habit that appears to have developed of NHSEI briefing journalists, particularly those hostile to general practice, before communicating with the profession and its representatives (iii) demands that general practice’s contribution to the management of both the pandemic, and continuation of service whilst other parts of the healthcare system have stepped back from face-to-face work, be recognised, particularly given the general practitioners who have died in the course of their duties to the public.

BEDFORDSHIRE: That conference: (i) deplores the action of NHSEI in failing to support GPs in the use of their professional judgement in deciding when and if a patient needs a face-to-face appointment (ii) calls for a national campaign to explain why a face-to-face GP appointment is not always necessary or safe (iii) following the words of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, agrees that the “new normal” will mean that more consultations will be done by telephone or video consultation rather than face-to-face(iv)emphasises that if a doctor feels a patient needs to be seen face-to-face such an appointment will be arranged.

Source: BMA

READERS' COMMENTS [9]

Andrew Jackson 11 November, 2020 1:05 pm

about time

John Glasspool 11 November, 2020 1:37 pm

Hot air. Nothing will happen. GPs will do the usual thing; whinge but still toe the line. The govt, of course, knows this.

Vinci Ho 11 November, 2020 2:24 pm

Cart before the horse .
Ballot after the DES already been ‘endorsed’ . Sorry , not the definition of democracy.

Vinci Ho 11 November, 2020 2:39 pm

The deadline of 17/11/2020 for PCN to say yes or no is draconian and unrealistic. As I wrote before , is this carrying a political innuendo as LMC conference is on 27/11/2020 instead ?

Patrufini Duffy 11 November, 2020 2:42 pm

You cannot penetrate the comradery and invested hierarchy of the DoH, and interests of Tweetable “leaders”. You have GPs (who aren’t even Partners), chasing accolades and succumbing their instincts to Hancocks team of advisors. Planning their next positions and next move “up”. You slave, they dine and dictate. Opt out of the PCN, get some guts and book your next holiday and go actually play golf.

David Jenner 11 November, 2020 6:09 pm

Of course we should have had a ballot first ,but this is our chance to have one and give GPC a mandate as to what and what not to do. Vince, it gives a chance for the horse (or cart) to say NO! or “try it the other way around” (more GPs before more work)
DES not endorsed by the profession ,only GPC!

Michael Crow 11 November, 2020 8:28 pm

Problem is that PCNs are just a vehicle to take out the partnership model. The majority of GPs will be saddled with no say in their working conditions, a very small minority who are not really interested in clinical care will become very rich. Before you know it, it will all be too late. luckily I am retiring soon

Reply moderated
Nick Mann 11 November, 2020 8:59 pm

I fear that delusions of agency in PCNs will lead us off a cliff – well, a slippery slope. Promised cash and easier lives in 2004, we swallowed performance-related pay. The PCN spec will deliver performance-related pay in spades, with GPs policing each other to ensure system targets aren’t breached.
Since 2004, NHSEI has more than clawed back all those gains. Even OOH is about to be returned to us.
CCGs are set to disappear within a couple of years.
The original PCN spec was hideous and undoable. The new spec mollified, but didn’t alter, the overstretch required at the worst possible time for general practice.
National LMC definitively rejected the revised PCN spec, for good reasons. It’s actually unnecessary, and we have a lot more on now than then. So have the voluntary sector: a major part of PCNs’ success depends on a reliably functioning sector that has just seen its funding crash.
Ballot.

Turn out The lights 12 November, 2020 7:15 am

No GP leaders will ever represent the coalface GP stooging there guts out in understaffed and undermanned and over subscribed practices working long hours while drowning in work.Oh the luxury to go to meeting and undertaking in pointless meaningless gesturing and voting.The exodus will continue.