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GP groups seek talks with Labour over ‘misinformed’ salaried service proposals

GP groups seek talks with Labour over ‘misinformed’ salaried service proposals

GP groups are seeking talks with the Labour Party over its ‘deeply concerning’ proposals to ‘tear up’ the GP contract in favour of a salaried service.

GPs said the shadow health secretary’s proposals to abandon the partnership model are based on ‘flawed information’ and ‘a lack of understanding of the real issues.’

The Doctors’ Association UK joined grassroots group GP Survival to challenge Wes Streeting’s plans outlined in a piece in The Times last week, and expressed ‘deep concern’.

Mr Streeting said he wants to ‘tear up’ the ‘murky, opaque’ GP contract, while considering abolishing the GP partnership model in favour of a salaried service.

He also laid out plans for patients to self-refer to secondary care, with GPs no longer the ‘sole gatekeeper’ for specialist services.

But Dr John Hughes, chairman of GP Survival, said that Mr Streeting’s proposals seemed to be ‘based on misinformation.’

He said: ‘Our members have been extremely concerned at Wes Streeting’s comments and declared plans for reform of UK General Practice, which seem to be based on misinformation and lack of understanding of the real issues and pressures faced daily by understaffed and underfunded practices.

‘We would welcome the opportunity to talk with him as he has indicated he is seeking consultation on these plans.’

The group have written a letter to Mr Streeting outlining their concerns.

A spokesperson for the group said: ‘We would appreciate the opportunity to be part of this dialogue, and urge you to include established medical and nursing colleges, along with patient and GP practice manager groups, who are all ideally placed to offer expert insight and opinion.

‘We all share the common goal of improving patient care, and creating a sustainable NHS.

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‘We urge Mr Wes Streeting to response to our concerns as soon as possible and liaise with the GP specialists group to ensure that stakeholders are involved in this complex policy planning.’

The group said that reason GPs are not meeting current demand is because ‘there simply are not enough GPs’ and that a focus purely on recruitment without retention would be a failure.

More consideration is also needed for self-referral, especially continuing to ensure that cancer care is prioritised. 

Dr Lizzie Toberty, GP lead at DAUK, said the plans are based on ‘flawed information and misconceptions.’

She said: ‘At probably the most challenging time within the NHS and our working lives, it is hard not to experience a sense of despair reading the plans of the next potential health secretary.

‘Mr Streeting’s thoughts as written in The Times are based on flawed information and misconceptions.

‘There is no doubt general practice is often falling short in the level of care our patients deserve. However, this is due to a lack of GPs, rather than any model itself. We should not reform for reforming’s sake.

‘We need to focus on staff retention first and foremost. Any dramatic changes should be done after careful consideration, and extensive discussions with all stakeholders.

‘The current model is not perfect but switching to a purely salaried model runs the risk of making care worse, not better.

‘We hope to appeal to Mr Streeting and ask him to listen to and work with us to enable the care our patients deserve.’

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said has no interest in wholesale reorganisation of general practice in England.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Slobber Dog 14 January, 2023 5:02 pm

Best of luck getting a politician admit to being wrong.

Merlin Wyltt 15 January, 2023 11:05 pm

Finally an MP with the guts to kill off General Practice and put us out of our misery.

Mo Sul 16 January, 2023 12:53 am

Don’t care, need to leave as soon as possible.

Turn out The Lights 16 January, 2023 9:39 am

I remember labour reforming out of hours,I bet is will be as successful as that.

David Church 16 January, 2023 10:42 am

Did Labour reform the OOH?
I thought it was from BMA pressure.
Either way, something needed doing to facilitate and enable fitting OOH solutions to the varying needs in different parts of the country – and yet, what did we get? a ‘one-size fits all’ solution imposed by LHBs regardless of the local situation and needs, which predictably did not work everywhere the same, because, believe it or not, different parts of the country actually really are different!
and that is why OOH is failing us now in some places – it is not fit for purpose in those.

John Evans 16 January, 2023 2:43 pm


I recall the government thought that it could be done for far less than the pitiful sum that they been paying to GPs to do it.

Our local service deteriorated dramatically overnight. I quickly stopped working shifts as visit delays became dangerous. I agreed to arrive one hour early for an overnight mobile shift and the first patient had been waiting over 17 hours to be seen. My name would have been on any complaints received so I protected myself and withdrew for a number of years.

Let them have it all. The secondary effects will include 1. the government becoming accountable for any ludicrous promises that they spew out to the electorate 2. a significant increase in hourLy pay rates as the unfounded bottom half of the iceberg becomes theirs to deal with.

John Evans 16 January, 2023 2:44 pm