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LMCs conference 2010: As it happened

By Pulse news desk

17.16 They think it's all over and it is now, or as good as.

Pulse will be keeping you updated with the very latest from the conference floor throughout the two-day conference. If you're there, let us know what you think of proceedings so far at

Friday 11 June

17.16 They think it's all over and it is now, or as good as. GPs have started drifting off to bars in Russell Square to watch the football, or in most cases are heading for trains to far flung corners to catch up on mountains of PCO paperwork.

Pulse is joining them but will be bringing news of what happens next on the many massive issues which have been debated.

And most importantly, it ended South Africa 1- Mexico 1. Not that we got a chance to watch it.

16.15 A motion criticising the ever-controversial plans for GP revalidation is passed.

15.55 The Logan Hall begins to fill up in expectation of a series of motions on the ever-controversial revalidation plans.

15.30 In the opening World Cup match, Mexico have a clear goal disallowed for offside - according to unofficial reports.

15.00 The Logan Hall is noticeably emptier than this morning. Might some GPs have snuck off to the pub? Your dedicated Pulse news team has, of course, stayed put.

14.05 Major breaking news from the LMCs conference. GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman reads a letter to delegates from health minister Simon Burns. The Government will review the rollout of the Summary Care Record.

13.50 Following Dr Buckman's empassioned plea, the BMA press office sources some cheese and pickle sandwiches.

13.35 Dr Mary Church reveals that last night's dinner collection for the Cameron fund, presumably not a GPC fund to help bribe the new Prime Minister, raised £4,119. And 0.1 euros. That must have been the donation from the Scottish LMCs.

13.30 Devon LMC presents a cheap, plastic tiara to conference chair Dr Mary Church, presumably in recognition of her regal presence presiding over the conference. Or, more likely, a response to the refreshments provided over lunch.

13.00 Dr Gillian Braunold, clinical director for the Summary Care Record, is spotted in the Logan Hall reception looking concerned and talking urgently into a mobile phone. Could she be worried about the outcome of the votes on the SCR motions - due in half an hour?

12.34 GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman bitterly laments the lack of cheese and pickle sandwiches provided by the BMA press office. There's no BMA prawn sandwich brigade.

12.15 The now infamous 'John Wayne motion', demanding the GPC does not allow nGMS to become an emboldened version of the John Waynes "a man's got to do what a man's got to do" contract, is passed.

12.00 A GP mounts the stage with his mouth duct taped. He's not allowed to speak, his colleague, a representative from Bedfordshire LMC explains, because he's only an observer and not an LMC rep. Might the constitution be changes to allo his colleague to speak on motion, he proposes? No, it seems. Motion rejected.

11.50 Dr Peter Swinyard wears four different hats, with the flags of the four different UK nations, while proposing a motion asking for votes for country-specific motions to be voted on by delegates from those nations - only. Representatives from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland oppose it - if they weren't forced to sit through motions that had no relevance to them, when would they go out and get their coffee? Motion rejected.

11.45 LMCs World Cup fever reaches a new level as Dr Michelle Drage reveals a pair of England earrings to back 'our boys' . However, Pulse also spots a member of the centre's staff who bears an uncanny resemblance to Diego Maradona. Surely not the hand of God again?

11:30 One of the most divided votes of conference so far, yes, you've guessed it, out-of-hours. In a tense vote, 52% of GPs backed calls to take a ‘central role' in out-of-hours commissioning, but steadfastly refused to entertain being the providers of last resort.

11.20 Motions condemning the patient survey as 'a very distoreted picture of primary care' are passed.

11.10 Dr Mohammed Jiva's call to arms for GPs to get behind the England Football Team meets resistance from Welsh members, risking an outbreak of hooliganism. But order is restored before anything really nasty happens.

11.00 DH spin doctors come under attack as Dr Mohammed Jiva, of Rochdale and Bury LMC, proposes a motion slamming the previous government's extended hours drive.

No surprise that the motion is backed, with the conference describing the move as a 'political whim' which has failed to meet its goals.

Dr Jiva says: 'We don't want any more knee-jerk reactions to make political points. This is a chance for the Government to ditch the spin doctors and work with real doctors.'

10:40 Significant vote here. GPs back calls to negotiate incentives to encourage GP partnerships and thus prevent 'wholesale death by salary'.

But they reject calls on all GPs to 'never' employ another salaried GP for more than five years.

10:30 A fiery debate on sessional GPs, with strong opinions on both sides. GPs vote in favour of greater representation for sessional GPs, as outlined in GPC's recent report.

But they reject a call from a young sessional doctor for salaried GPs and locums to have their own comittee, after she described the current system as 'rotten'.

9.20 Dr James Parsons mounts the stage and brandishes a copy of the latest GPC policy document. 'It's a fantastic resource, please read it'. Dr Buckman beams, possibly recognising a future GPC chair in the making right before his eyes.

Dr Parson's motion calling for more rigorous and longer GP training, is passed.

9.05 Things kick off with a rousing speech by Dr Skinner from Kent LMC. He gives a glowing account of last night's conference dinner (Scottish themes), and a plea to politicians to stop fragmenting care and 'recognise and value the gold standard that is the primary health care team.' Motion passed.

9.00 Vuvuzelas at the ready, it's here at last. Yes it's day two of the LMC's conference and as the GPs shake off their hangovers from last nights dinner it's straight into a discussion about the future of general practice.

A motion is passed that conference remains 'seriously concerned' about the future of general practice, which might be something of an understatement

Thursday 10 June

17.15 GP autonomy was the subject of the last session of the day, although clearly what to wear for dinner and who had the best haircut was more important for some.

It's been an exciting day which has almost lived up to the oh-so-sexy title of the conference, 'Dependable Care in Difficult Times'.

Tomorrow we look forward to key debates on such thorny issues as out-of-hours, the lack of partnerships and revalidation. For now though, Pulse is off home to dose up on those Indian herbal cures as recommended by Dr Buckman...

16.20 The threat to PMS practices is still the theme as the representatives back a motion calling on the GPC to make a stand against PCO bullying tactics.

Next up it's a motion condemning the DDRB pay freeze, so unity should be assured.

15.40 Dr Laurence Buckman finds himself facing the wrath of PMS practices who claim in a motion that the GPC has failed to stand up for them in the ongoing round of negotiations with PCTs.

GPC member Dr Fay Wilson, is a surprise supporter of key parts of the motion, despite being a GMS GP, although she stops short of backing a motion losing faith in herself.

However, the GPC escapes a loss of confidence vote after the motion is withdrawn following a pledge by Dr Buckman that the GPC will support PMS practices.

15.30 Dr Tony Stanton receives a moving standing ovation as he takes to his feet at his last LMCs conference. The joint Londonwide LMCs chief executive, who recently announced his retirement, leaves with the message 'united we stand, divided we fall.' It looks unlikely as GPs sharpen their knives for the PMS v GMS debate.

15.20 Dr Richard Vautrey gets a loud cheer as he bullishly declares the GPC's aim to see the patient survey scrapped.

'From the announcement yesterday by Andrew Lansley, it appears he agrees with us', he says. Weird isn't it, all this consensus? What happened to good old fashioned disagreement?

15.10 GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul says plans to give GPs real budgets will be an 'abject failure' without suitable incentives.

Dr Buckman refuses to believe that the Government wants wholesale renegotiation of the GP contract. We shall see how this one develops.

15.00 It's Question Time at Logan Hall. No sign of Dimbleby though, though we do have Buckman, Vautrey and the rest of the negotiating team. 'Good afternoon everybody, we are the guilty few,' says the GPC Chair

14.12 Correction, he uses the dead parrot cliché.

14.10 The afternoon starts on a debate in which GPs discuss whether PBC has been an abject failure, which is a bit of an LMCs cliché by now.

On that note Dr Simon Bradley wins the award for most bad puns in a speech so far with a long list of references to dead and endangered birds, but at least manages to avoid the dead parrot cliché.

12.50 Plans for practice boundaries to be scrapped are greeted with the same sort of enthusiasm as polyclinics.

Motions calling for the practice-boundary-scrapping policy itself to be scrapped are passed overwhemingly.

12.20 Funniest comments of the day so far from Dr Terry John, of Waltham Forest LMC, who in the subsequent debate over polysystems tells how his PCT has totally ignored Andrew Lansley's call to halt the London polysystems rollout.

'My PCT sees itself as a muscular PCT at the front line of policy change, no matter how disastrous,' he says, claiming Waltham Forest at least is carrying on regardless with plans for polysystems.

Dr John suggests it may be down to a case of dyslexia.

'They thought Mr Lansley was commending the plans, not condemning,' he says.

'They are not going to reverse the policy, they are going to rename it. So we'll get polystructures, or polyfilla, or Polly put the kettle on.'

A motion ConDem-ing (coalition pun intended) polysystems is passed with flying colours.

12.00 GPC member Dr Helena McKeown launches a rocket at the professor from the floor, as she attacks the King's Fund's right to be advising on the future of general practice.

The think tank, she points out, is made up of CEOs, management consultants and former No 10 advisers but 'where are the GPs?'

Professor Ham survives, despite more questions from GPs worried about conflict of interest in the Government's commissioning plans and confusion over whether polysystems, federations or whatever the latest buzzword is are the answer.

He concludes by saying: 'If you're not confused, you're not informed so clearly I've succeeded.'

11.40 Professor Chris Ham, chief executive of the King's Fund, enters the lion's den to cover the small issue of the future of general practice, polysystems and practice boundaries.

After a polite reception he risks the wrath of the room by warning GPs that they will have to form polysystems under the new commissioning plans mooted by the Government, despite Andrew Lansley's apparent halting of top down reconfigurations. So the dreaded 'p' word has not ceased to be after all.

11.10 Fresh from his vow and recovering from his keynote speech, Dr Buckman is suffering from a nasty cough in the press room and appears to advocate a strange cure from India, which is apt with the debate on homeopathy coming up.

Taking a tablet he says: ‘They look like sh*t and they taste like sh*t but they work.'

11.00 Londonwide LMCs chief Dr Michelle Drage is outraged after a note she passed to the chair asking to oppose a motion goes mysteriously missing. Dr Drage stands firm and get to speak..

She says the motion, which calls on the GPC to review the cost of PCTs, SHAs, Darzi centrse and ISTCs, does not go far enough.

‘They should not look at it, they should bloody well stop it,' she says.

The motion is carried, with Dr Laurence Buckman promising he will call Andrew Lansley to have all projects stopped by the end of the day.

Wouldn't that be nice?

10.50 An early bid for worst new phrase of the conference comes from Dr Ivan Camphor, of Merseyside, when he urges Andrew Lansley not to employ any more consultant surgeons to re-design primary care. It would be a ‘Dizarsister', he announces.

10.20 A motion calling on the Government to be truthful about the extent of the financial crisis attracts opposition from Dr Andrew Mimnagh, of Sefton LMC, on the grounds that no politicians have the capacity to tell the truth.

The motion is carried, also calling on cuts to be determined at a local level rather than leaving them to the local national lottery also known as PCTs.

10.15 Conference chair Dr Mary Church proves why many GPs think NHS IT should be scrapped as the cutting edge electronic voting system leaves her muddled. She manages to get over the blip without calling for help from Connecting for Health.

10.10 GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman delivers a stirring speech to delegates. Described by one impartial observer as 'quite militant', it's a sure sign that it isn't going to be all happy families with the new Government.

However, it's fair to see a lot of his ire seemed to be directed at the previous Government.

Applause is plentiful. Job done, Dr Buckman.

09.45 GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman's keynote speech to open the conference is underway.

08.59 It's that time again. You can feel the anticpitation in the air. The tension is mounting, as the herds amass in earnest readiness, anxiously awaiting the big kick-off.

The crowd is in full voice, ready to board the emotional rollercoaster, to experience the blood, sweat and tears. The piercing sound of the vuvuzelas. Yes, that's right. The 2010 LMCs conference begins today.

(Well, apart from the vuvuzelas obviously. They, fortunately for our ears, are in South Africa).

Wednesday 9 June

14.11 Welcome to the Pulse liveblog for the 2010 LMCs conference, which will be held on Thursday 10 June and Friday 11 June at Logan Hall at the Institute of Education in central London.

Arrangements for the conference are set out in a letter from the conference chair Dr Mary Church, who will be taking over this year from Dr Fay Wilson. And you view a full list of motions on the conference agenda, which you can download here.

2010 LMCs conference 2010 LMCs conference