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LMCs conference to reflect GP ‘anger’ at NHS cuts



By Christian Duffin

GP anger at pay and pension cuts and debate over the health bill is likely to dominate a fiery LMCs annual conference in London next week, its chair has told Pulse.

Dr Mary Church, a GP from Blantyre, south Lanarkshire, said she expects GPs from across the country to use the two-day event to vent their frustrations over the Government’s health strategy.

‘There’s a lot of anger, because GPs feel they are being asked to contribute more, work longer, and earn less,’ said Dr Church. ‘Who is going to do that with a smile on their face?’

‘There’s a great fear that the NHS is becoming fragmented.’

The future of GP commissioning will also be prominent in debates, she added. ‘There is a strong feeling that commissioning should be GP-led because we are the only ones that deal with all the sectors of the NHS and are responsible for co-ordinating all the care.’

Various aspects of the NHS reforms are likely to be the subject of intense debate, with a series of motions highly critical of the health bill, competition and the Any Willing Provider policy. Pay, CQC registration and revalidation are also among the wide range of topics due to be discussed.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman, who will open the conference with a keynote address on Thursday, also predicted a heated atmosphere.

‘I think there will be anger that GPs are the whipping boys who are expected to save the NHS money,’ he said. ‘Other NHS workers are being spared by their employers from having to save money, but we are not in that situation, so we are taking the rap.’

LMC delegates from across the country will gather in London next week