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LMCs to hold emergency debate on Hunt’s out-of-hours proposals

GP leaders are set to debate the Government’s plans for general practice to take back out-of-hours responsibility this afternoon - and may also hold a vote of no confidence in health secretary Jeremy Hunt in an emergency session at the LMCs conference.

Although the full list of motions to be discussed has yet to be published, the forty-minute debate has been scheduled for GPs to discuss the contents of Mr Hunt’s speech at the King’s Fund yesterday afternoon, in which he suggested the GP contract would be changed to return round-the-clock responsbility for patients to general practice.

Dr David Wrigley, from Lancashire LMC, told Pulse a number of LMCs were submitting emergency motions in response to Mr Hunt’s speech - and said he wanted the conference to declare that GPs have lost confidence in the health secretary.

He said: ‘I am submitting a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt because he has basically lost the confidence of the profession because of all of his pronouncements. He seems to have no idea what GPs actually do. This includes his other ministers; Dr Dan Poulter said that GPs don’t work out of hours. The whole ministerial department seems just absolutely clueless.’

’Plainly GPs work out of hours. The whole NHS 111 debacle has brought things to a head, I think. It was forced through by politicians and they are trying to say now “it was none of our fault, and it was a minor difficulty” when it was an utter disaster. They need to take account for their actions.’

Speaking at a King’s Fund conference yesterday, Mr Hunt said he wants the GP contract to change to make GPs individually repsonsible for their patients 24/7. He said that GPs will not ‘personally’ have to be on call at all times but that they should have ‘sign-off’ to say they are happy with their patients’ care out of hours.

Dr Wrigley commented: ‘It sounds like he is making it up as he goes along, doesn’t it? CCGs now are responsible for out of hours and CCGs are at the forefront of CCGs so you could argue that is already happening now. The GPs on CCGs are signing off the out-of-hours contracts.’