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Pulse Checker: NHS England to negotiate future GP contract with NHS England

Pulse Checker: NHS England to negotiate future GP contract with NHS England

Pulse’s not-entirely-serious take on the month’s events

Ministers have announced that all future GP contract talks will take place between NHS England negotiators and other NHS England negotiators.

Following the contract imposition this year in England, the Government has decided that it is no longer necessary for the BMA to be involved in talks, and hopes to speed up the process by having junior NHS England staff negotiating on behalf of GPs. 

Health secretary Steve Barclay told Pulse Checker that the move will save everyone valuable time and resources, and will end up delivering the same outcome anyway. 

He said: ‘GPs should not be concerned – we know that NHS England has great junior negotiators, and we are expecting robust discussions in the next round of talks. But ultimately they will agree with everything their bosses say because they will be marked down in their appraisals if they don’t.

‘This will avoid some of the lengthy stalemates we have seen in the past and also prevent niggling over issues such as funding, staffing and  access.’

Supermarkets to start selling home surgery kits

A number of leading UK supermarkets have placed orders for kits that enable patients to perform minor surgery on themselves. 

Last month, Tesco started selling a number of at-home testing kits including FOB rapid bowel health, ferritin rapid and microalbuminuria. Following their success, medical firms are launching a range of home surgical kits in case results are positive, to include scalpels, surgical tables and forceps. Customers can buy a separate anaesthesia kit. 

A spokesperson for the supermarket chain told Pulse Checker: ‘The success of our home-testing kits shows consumers no longer need doctors for diagnosis and are asking why they need clinicians for treatment. Though we do advise that for any complications after at-home surgery, patients should contact their GP.’

What GPs are being blamed for this month

Being offered money to fill vital gaps in urgent care:
‘Can’t see a GP? Try A&E where they’ll be on up to £200 an hour to cover for striking junior doctors.’ Daily Mail, 8 April 2023. (This figure was based on the offer being made by trusts, and there was no evidence GPs had taken it up.)

Denying UTI treatment:
’UTI sufferers still being denied treatment by GPs despite rules changing eight weeks ago.’ i News, 17 April 2023

That GP burnout QOF indicator in full

As part of the imposed contract, NHS England implemented QOF indicators to ‘improve wellbeing, resilience and risk of burnout for the GP workforce’. Here we reveal the requirements in full.

The contractor displays ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ posters in every consultation room and staff area4
The contractor factors in at least two hours per working week for every staff member to focus on their own wellbeing (with time to be made up at evenings or weekends)5
Percentage of staff members who are still smiling or describing their mood as ‘jolly’ at 8pm1060%-75%
The contractor plays Shiny Happy People by REM in the practice on a loop5
Of staff members who were not on an SSRI when joining the practice, percentage who are still not on an SSRI1230%-50%

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