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Scrapping GP partnership model would be a ‘disaster’, says Government

Scrapping GP partnership model would be a ‘disaster’, says Government

The Government has asserted its commitment to GP partnerships, claiming it would be a ‘disaster’ to scrap the model. 

Last week in the House of Commons, the Conservative MP for Stroud, Siobhan Baillie, called on the Government to respond to the Labour party’s ‘talk’ of doing away with the model. 

Primary care minister Andrea Leadsom said Labour’s proposals to ‘undermine’ the partnership model are ‘ludicrous’. 

Labour has not been clear on its plans for the GP partnership model in recent years, swinging from plans to scrap it entirely to a more open-minded position months later.

Ms Baillie said: ‘I am alarmed by the Labour party’s talk about scrapping the GP partnership model, as I find in the Stroud district that GP practices are some of the most efficient parts of our NHS services.’

To help GPs, she called for ‘support, the removal of bureaucracy and the opening up of funding pots, rather than dismantling’.

In response, Ms Leadsom cited Government measures to ‘create 36,000 additional roles in GP practices’ which provide more capacity.

‘It is ludicrous that Labour is proposing to undermine the GP partnership model; that would be a disaster for primary care,’ she added. 

Dr Simon Opher, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stroud, who is also a GP, said Ms Baillie’s comments about the partnership model were ‘pure mischief making’. 

‘If she was really worried, a call to me, or Wes Streeting’s office, would have reassured her of our commitment to the current partnership model.’

He added: ‘The Conservatives are misrepresenting health workers and Labour because they have run out of ideas and have nothing to offer.

‘They have wasted billions of pounds and run the service into the ground. Our fear is that left to them, primary care, the bedrock of the NHS, is going to go the way of dentistry. 

‘So I will take no lectures from our Conservative MP on this,’ he concluded, as reported by the Stroud Times.

In January last year, the shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said he wants to ‘tear up’ the ‘murky, opaque’ GP contract, and move from GP partnerships to a salaried service.

This was met with criticism from both the Prime Minister, who said the Government had no intention to do away with the contract, as well as GP groups

Mr Streeting later said he remained ‘open minded’ about the future of the GP partnership model, seemingly rowing back on those comments earlier in the year. 

But a month later, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the GP partnership model is ‘coming to an end of its life’ and that the NHS needs ‘more salaried GPs’. 

BMA GP leaders then wrote to the Labour Party, urging a discussion in a bid to change its position. 

Most recently, Mr Streeting has been more positive about GP partners, claiming that he now recognises the ‘value’ they provide. 

Responding to a question from Pulse at the Labour Party annual conference in October, he said he has not reached a ‘firm conclusion’ on the future of the partnership model and that his previous comments had been ‘misinterpreted’.



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

Not on your Nelly 30 April, 2024 4:23 pm

if they carry on with 1 to 2 % rises and have mandatory 5-10 % pay rises for staf who work there without funding it, it will die a death without any goverenment interference. ARRS and the ability to only employ noctors will be the other part

Just My Opinion 30 April, 2024 5:36 pm

Already propped up by ARRS staff, no money for real doctors, now they realise it was a big mistake it’s too late to go back.
What next?

paul cundy 1 May, 2024 9:09 am

Dear All,
Its a myth that NHSE recomended pay rises are “mandatory”. Read your actual contract. As with everything else, what you decide to pay your staff is up to you, the contract holder. You are not contractually bound to match government recomended pay rises for staff. The actual words in the contract are along lines of offering employment “no less favourable” than the BMA model contract. It does not designate actual pay rates.
Paul C

The Locum 1 May, 2024 11:45 am

If the Gov scrapped partnerships, who else would take on below inflation, unfunded work with unllimited workloads / liability wit the option to impose how much they’ll pay for it all. Of course they want partnerships, that however is not to say they value partnership

David Church 1 May, 2024 1:42 pm

Of course scrapping the ‘GP Partnership’ model of GP Delivery would be disastrous for the Conservative Government – because this model allows Government to continue wrecking the NHS whilst putting all the blame on Doctors, and protects Government from public backlash from the effects of funding cuts and also from GP industrial action.
A salaried service model would leave the NHS managers with responsible for providing for the needs of patients in need, and would have to take the blame for all delays, lack of availability of services, strike effects, and so forth – as well as paying the staff at good market rates for the jobs they do. This would enable public to force the issue over poor provisions and performances by the ‘provider’, and make politicians suffer correctly for their decisions and poor management planning.
It MIGHT be far from disastrous for both patients and all staff – clinical and otherwise.

So the bird flew away 1 May, 2024 2:48 pm

After 14 years to get the NHS right, best to apply Vicks to the philtrum before approaching any outpourings by Leadsom and Baillie..