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BMA to host special LMCs conference on 11 March

The BMA GP Committee will host the special conference of LMCs to discuss the impending GP contract changes on 11 March.

The conference will be held at the Mermaid Conference Centre in London and will allow regional representatives to discuss the 2020/21 deal which has been negotiated between the BMA and the Government.

The motion to hold a special conference was passed at a GPC meeting last month, before the GPC reached an agreement on the contract.

It said the purpose would be to consider the outcome of negotiations and ‘what action the profession should take’. However, since then the BMA has welcomed the deal it was able to reach with the Government.

And the BMA has confirmed to Pulse that the LMCs conference cannot overturn the negotiated GP contract, but merely express dissatisfaction. This is because the GPC has negotiating rights on behalf of the profession and already voted 71% in favour of the GP contract.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee England chair, said: ‘In line with the motion passed at GPC England in January, the purpose of the special LMC conference is to consider the outcome of negotiations. Following major improvements secured through tough negotiations on the contract package, the outcome of negotiations is now an agreed contract deal between the BMA and NHS England and NHS Improvement, with changes coming in this April. The conference will therefore now discuss the profession’s response to this and help set GPCE’s work plan for the coming years. 

‘Reaction to the deal from GPs has been very positive, but as I made clear there is still a lot to do, not least in tackling crucial premises and pensions issues. We will now also be embarking on a series of roadshows around the country so that GPs, PCNs and LMCs are best informed and can make the most of these new the changes.’

The updated GP contract, negotiated between NHS England and the BMA, includes a 4% increase to the global sum£20,000 golden handshakes to attract GPs into partnershipadditional funding for the primary care networks to hire extra clinical roles and diluted network service requirements.

In a blog posted today on the BMA website, Dr Vautrey said: ‘After successful negotiations all of these things have become a reality and, after so many years of under-funding and increased demand, we can look forward to a brighter future for our profession.

‘This is a GP contract which will provide more funding and support an increased workforce, not only for the next four years but with an explicit commitment to long-term investment.’