The BMA GP Committee has called for talks with new NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard in a bid to break the deadlock over face-to-face GP appointments for patients.
Relations nosedived in May when the committee passed a motion of ‘no confidence’ in NHS England’s senior leadership and suspended formal meetings between the two organisations.
The emergency motion came in response to a ‘tone deaf’ and ‘insulting’ letter from NHS England ordering all GP practices to offer face-to-face appointments.
The stand-off remains unresolved and the doctors’ union is now calling for NHS England to change its approach to GPs under Ms Pritchard’s leadership, saying it was hopeful a meeting with the new boss would result in positive action.
BMA chair of council Dr Chaand Nagpaul has welcomed Ms Pritchard’s appointment and said he hoped the valuable experience and wealth of knowledge she had gained while working in the NHS for more than 20 would lead to a change in direction.
Speaking as she took up her new role last week, Dr Nagpaul said: ‘Ms Pritchard needs to work to put their trust back in the profession by showing she recognises their plight and to put measures in place to support their wellbeing.
‘It is also incredibly important that genuine effort is made to tackle the inequalities present in the health service.
‘We would expect Ms Pritchard to spearhead the necessary changes that are needed to do this and ensure a fairer working environment for all.’
‘We hope that Ms Pritchard will be able to provide the health service with the decisive leadership and commitment to investment it needs at this critical juncture.
‘We look forward to working with her constructively in the coming weeks and months.’
Pulse reported in June that the BMA was still waiting for a response that would ‘restore confidence’ in NHS England following the fallout.