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Ministers to block GPs from offering private services

Ministers have vowed to block any move by GP leaders to expand the private services GPs can offer to their patients.

The rebuff comes after LMC leaders urged the GPC to renegotiate the GMS contract to allow practices to charge for treatments not funded by the NHS.

In a knife-edge vote at last week’s annual LMC Conference in Liverpool, GPs narrowly backed a call to expand on the current limited list of treatments practices can
provide to their patients privately.

The motion was opposed by the GPC leadership and deeply divided LMCs, but was narrowly passed by 48% to 47%.

But the Department of Health said it would not accept the changes if brought forward, with the GPC also appearing reluctant to act on the vote.

The motion, proposed by Dr Nimish Shah, a GP in Bridgend and member of Morgannwg LMC, said: ‘Conference urges GPC to negotiate a change to the GMS contract that would allow patients to receive treatment not funded by the NHS from their own GP on a private basis.

He added: ‘The perceived conflict of interest is nonsense.’

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC negotiator, said: ‘This issue raises a Pandora’s box of questions. It is fiendishly complex.’