This site is intended for health professionals only

Buckman issues warning on leadership elections to GP consortia

By Gareth Iacobucci

Emerging GP consortia are in danger of 'disenfranchising' large sections of the profession by excluding them from participating in leadership elections, the GPC has warned.

The GPC voted back in March to include all GPs in decisions made during the transition to GP commissioning consortia, including salaried GPs and also potentially locums.

But GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said reports they were receiving suggested this advice was being ignored, and vowed to write to LMCs to remind them of their duty to insist that consortia include all GPs in leadership elections, regardless of their contractual status.

He said: 'I intend to write to all LMCs again pointing out in the strongest terms I can, that in order to maintain local professional confidence, all transitional arrangements towards commissioning consortia must, when creating a clinical leadership team, include a democratic electoral process that is inclusive and open to all GPs whatever their contractual status, and with one GP one vote.'

'Messages I'm getting from all around the country suggest this is being ignored by fledgling consortia.'

'I am sad to have to reiterate it, but it is absolutely crucial that LMCs at local level insist firmly that this policy is implemented everywhere. It is important that LMCs and all GPs stand up to this, otherwise we are disenfranchising a large chunk of the general practice body.'

He added: 'There is no reason why all GPs should not participate in, elect to, and be elected on to shadow consortia. About a third of GPs are sessional. They have as much entitlement as anybody, and should not have been excluded.'

Dr Laurence Buckman