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GPs vote to end clause that allows practices to recruit patients outside their boundaries



GPs have called on the BMA to abolish the out of area registration clause in the GMS contract, which allows patients to register with practices outside of the traditional GP boundaries. 

The clause has been used by Babylon GP at Hand to sign up patients from across London, and in some cases outside London.

But GPs at the England LMC conference today voted to see the ‘GP Choice’ scheme removed from the GP contract.

The motion, proposed by Redbridge LMC and passed in full, said that the rise of out of area ‘alternate primary care providers’ could potentially ‘destabilise the local health economy, threatening the viability of the current model of general practice’.

It told the GP Committee to ‘abolition of the out of area registration clause in the GMS contract’, and called for the Government to ‘halt the roll out of these models before it has considered the impact on primary care’.

Speaking about the rise of Babylon’s NHS app, Redbridge GP Dr Henry Akpabio said: ‘I believe that this model of care is threatening the current model of general practice. It is creaming off the most profitable patients, leaving traditional GPs with patients with chronic conditions.

‘This model should be halted. It discriminates against the elderly, those with chronic conditions, those for whom English is not their first language, those who cannot afford the technology.’

Newcastle and North Tynside LMC representative Dr Gerard Keissmann said: ‘We have a situation where something that was created to stop patients being discriminated against, is being used to cherry pick patients.

‘Abolish the out of area registration clause now and find a better way to allow it to do what it was originally created for.’

Last month, the CQC announced it will review the impact that Babylon GP at Hand has had on other practices.

MOTION IN FULL

That conference believes that the rise of out of area alternate primary care providers:

(i) has the potential to destabilise the local health economy, threatening the viability of the current model of general practice

(ii) urges the government to halt the roll out of these models before it has considered the impact on primary care

(iii) requires the government to reassess the benefits of online consulting to the patients

(iv) instructs the GPC to insist that all providers must offer and deliver a full range of services, equitably, to all patient groups without any exceptions based on age, sex and morbidity or technological competence

(v) calls for the abolition of the out of area registration clause in the GMS contract.

Source: BMA