GP leaders have watered down a motion to request GPs resign en masse, set to be voted on later today at the Special LMC Conference.
The motion originally suggested that ‘undated resignations from the current NHS contracts held by GPs should be requested’ in the case that the Government did not provide an adequate rescue package to general practice within six months of the Special LMC Conference.
Instead the motion now only suggests that ‘the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to to submit undated resignations’.
As part of the same motion, LMC delegates will still vote on suggestions that the GPC identifies ‘actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts’ and consider a ballot of GPs ‘regarding what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients’, should the Government not agree to a suitable rescue deal.
A Pulse survey of more than 900 GPs carried out at the end of last year revealed that half (49%) of GPs support mass resignation from the NHS in protest at the current state of general practice.
Today’s Special LMC Conference – the first one called since 2003 – will look specifically at ‘what actions are needed to ensure GPs can deliver a safe and sustainable service’ amid concerns over workforce, workload and defunding of general practice.
It comes as the Department of Health has promised a package of ’substantial funding and support’ as part of a big announcement due next month. Earlier this week, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said this ‘wide-ranging’ package would include ’measures on workforce, workload and service redesign’.
The conference opened this morning with a passionate speech from GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul who said that general practice is now ‘in a state of emergency’.
The amended motion in full
That conference instructs GPC that should negotiations with government for a rescue package for general practice not be concluded successfully within 6 months of the end of this conference:
(i) actions that GPs can undertake without breaching their contracts must be identified to the profession
(ii) a ballot of GPs should be considered regarding what work/services must cease to reduce the workload to ensure safe and sustainable care for patients
(iii) the GPC should canvass GPs on their willingness to to submit undated resignations