Northern Ireland LMCs will be voting on a motion to ‘fully explore’ if taking industrial action is an option for GP partners.
Representatives from Northern Ireland’s local medical committees will meet in Belfast for their annual conference on 18 November.
The conference agenda includes a motion calling on the conference to acknowledge the ‘inaction of the Department of Health in addressing the worsening pressures facing primary care’. And it goes on to instruct the NI GP Committee ‘to fully explore if taking industrial action is an option for GP partners’.
LMC leaders will also be voting on opening negotiations with the Department of Health and the Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG) regarding a restoration of the funding for elective care, and on a motion instructing the NIGPC to negotiate changes to the premises regulations to allow practices to make use of improvements grants.
The agenda also includes a motion discussing the IT budget for NI general practice, which ‘has shrunk in real terms’, demanding ‘increased funding’ from the Department of Health to allow reprofiling of service level agreements to include ‘adequate equipment and newer technology such as SMS messaging’, and a motion demanding state-backed indemnity.
Last month, NI GPC voted in favour of a major renegotiation of the GP contract for next year, outside of the normal cycle for talks, to help practices stave off closures.
The committee recently published its ‘plan to save general practice’ which summarises the policies it has been repeatedly calling for.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse last month, Dr Stout discussed the country’s pressing issues, including its lack of political leadership.
The motions in full
That conference is appalled by the inaction of DoH in addressing the worsening pressures facing primary care and instructs NIGPC to fully explore if taking industrial action is an option for GP partners
That conference instructs NIGPC to negotiate changes to the premises regulations with DoH to allow practices to make use of improvements grants to improve the energy efficiency of their surgeries and reduce the environmental impact of healthcare provision in local communities.
That conference condemns completely the reduction of funding in year of GP federation elective care services threatening the viability of GP elective care services and directs NIGPC:
(i) to open negotiations with the Department of Health and SPPG regarding a restoration of the funding for elective care
(ii) to ask DoH specifically whether a section 75 Equality Impact Assessment was done on the gender effect of the decision to decommission women’s health and vasectomy services and where within the NHS will be providing these services after April 2024.
That conference demands that NIGPC ask the Department of Health why there has to be a “tangible economic benefit” to sorting the indemnity issue for GPs in Northern Ireland when there is little or no cost and obvious clinical benefit.
That conference notes that despite increasing complexity and demand the IT budget for NI General Practice has shrunk in real terms and demands of DoH:
(i) increased funding to allow reprofiling of service level agreements to include adequate equipment and newer technology such as SMS messaging
(ii) that practices being forced to migrate to a different computer system without choice be given extra support and provided with an adequate document management system to aid switchover.
Source: BMA NI