This site is intended for health professionals only


BMA to vote on organising GP withdrawal from PCNs by 2023

BMA to vote on organising GP withdrawal from PCNs by 2023

Doctors meeting for the BMA’s annual representative meeting will vote on an organised withdrawal of GP practices from Primary Care Networks (PCNs) by the end of the year at its policy-making conference in Brighton.

The motion, scheduled for debate on Monday 27 June, says it ‘supports GPs fighting to defend the GMS contract and NHS independent contractor status’ and that it calls on ‘GPCE and the BMA to organise the withdrawal of GP practices from the PCNs by 2023’.

It proposes PCN funding to be moved into the core contract and instructs GPC England to act upon the GP ballot of 2021 and ‘organise opposition to the imposition of the new contract including industrial action if necessary’.

They will also debate commanding GPC England to reinvigorate potential industrial action against the imposed GP contract.

GPC representatives voted in favour of a motion that said PCNs pose an ‘existential threat’ to the independent contractor model, at a quarterly GPC England meeting last month, which itself followed England LMCs’ conference in 2020 had voted in favour of a similar motion.

However, the vote at the BMA’s ARM will carry more weight if passed, as it represents policy of the whole organisation.

The ARM will also vote on a motion to acknowledge that the BMA ‘has failed to learn from the Romney report’ with many members ‘still unable to feel proud of their union and is failing to value and support female members and members from minority groups including BAME, IMG and locum doctors’.

The motion demands that the BMA publishes an annual report to ARM to show improvement in all these areas.

Pulse last week revealed that the first female chair of the BMA’s GP Committee in England had to take sick leave following reports of sexist comments, which is part of a wider ‘toxic’ culture within the BMA and GPC in particular.

Delegates will also recognise ‘the contribution of international medical graduates to our workforce’ and call on the UK Government to facilitate tier 2 sponsorship and skilled worker status funding for ‘all practices across the country’. 

Other motions include:

  • Routine ‘self-defence training for all clinical staff’, more support for clinicians who are abused and suffer ‘malicious complaints’, and stronger sentences for those who attack healthcare workers.
  • All NHS employers to conduct ‘exit interviews’ in response to ‘unacceptably high levels of doctor burnout’ and the Government to publish anonymised results.

It comes as a major Pulse survey has revealed the extent of the GP partnership crisis, with 40% of partners considering taking salaried roles.

The findings come amid an ongoing shift towards sessional work among GPs – with around half of the workforce now made up of salaried and locum GPs.

Motions in full

Motion by LONDON REGIONAL COUNCIL: That this meeting supports GPs fighting to defend the GMS contract and NHS independent contractor status. The long-term GP patient relationship and the right for GPs to control their workload in a safe way, is essential for the future of general practice. We applaud the South Staffordshire motion passed at the 2021 LMC conference which called for GPCE to negotiate the end of the Primary Care Networks (PCNS) from 2023 as they ‘pose an existential threat to independent contractor status’ and this meeting:- 

i) calls on GPCE and the BMA to organise the withdrawal of GP practices from the PCNs by 2023; 

ii) calls for PCN funding to be moved into the core contract;

iii) instructs GPC England to act upon the GP ballot of 2021 and to organise opposition to the imposition of the new contract including industrial action if necessary.  

Motion by LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND DIVISION: That this meeting believes that the BMA has failed to learn from the Romney report with many members still unable to feel proud of their union and is failing to value and support female members and members from minority groups including BAME, IMG and locum doctors. The ARM insists that the BMA produces an annual report to ARM to demonstrate improvement in all these areas. 

Motion by CONFERENCE OF LMCs: That this meeting recognises that health care delivery in general practice is adversely impacted by the shortcomings of existing GP estates, including insufficient consultation rooms and meeting rooms and:- 

i) calls on the NHS in each of the four nations to investigate the impact of current GP estate limitations on the effective safe delivery of care and the recruitment of both clinical and non-clinical GP staff; 

ii) calls on the NHS in each of the four nations to investigate the impact of the limited number of disability adapted GP consultation rooms, on the clinical care of disabled patients; 

iii) instructs GPC to negotiate with the NHS in each of the four nations, to urgently provide much needed new funding to develop GP estates.

Motion by CONFERENCE OF LMCs: That this meeting celebrates and values the contribution of international medical graduates to our workforce and calls on the UK government to:- 

i) support the option of relocation of the close family of NHS workers to the UK; 

ii) facilitate tier 2 sponsorship / skilled worker status funding for all practices across the country; 

iii) mandate a five year minimum visa award to doctors entering UK GP training programmes; 

iv) extend the duration of any existing tier 2 visa (or health and social care visa) before the planned CCT date without having trainees to secure employment for visa sponsorship; 

v) lobby the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to prioritise IMG GP trainees who do not hold a UK driving licence for driving tests.

Source: BMA

READERS' COMMENTS [5]

Chris GP 6 June, 2022 11:10 am

Is there any point?
The profession votes – the GPC chat to NHSE who say no – and we all carry on as before.
110% I think the money should be in the core contract – but the bigger agenda here says otherwise.

Patrufini Duffy 6 June, 2022 3:30 pm

Or just opt out yourself? If you have a spine. And can dispel the £$ signs in your eyes.

Vinci Ho 6 June, 2022 6:18 pm

I am not writing anymore on BMA/GPC internal crisis , as you can read my multiple comments under Jaimie’s editorial and investigative article .
For PCNs ,it should go and the funding should go directly into individual practices . Additional roles reimbursement scheme , however , needs serious rethinking on the drawing board . It is simply a double-edged sword . The way of the money coming in needs to be more flexible .Some additional roles are certainly more important than others in different practices.
And do not forget additional roles need more rooms in GP premises to provide face to face consultations .

Dave Haddock 6 June, 2022 7:52 pm

BMA could more usefully formulate a plan for leaving the NHS.

Eric Wilkinson 8 June, 2022 6:21 pm

More meaningless posturing from the BMA. Remember undated resignations- 2004 & 2021? The GP strike that never was, despite the silly arm bands sent to members.
Roll on retirement