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Dr Chaand Nagpaul: ‘The goodwill of GPs is being exploited’

What have been the highlights so far of being the GPC chair?

The most important thing has been getting back to the negotiating table. When I inherited this position, we had an imposed set of changes that we knew were going to damage care for patients. But 80% or 90% of those impositions have now been scrapped. We’ve communicated to the Government that it does not make sense to alienate GPs, or to impose demotivating obstacles and tasks that get in the way of managing patients. I do not think we have got as far as we would like to, but it’s a start.

Has the new contract delivered in terms of reducing bureaucracy for GPs?

GPs are suffering increased workload from all quarters and much of it does not relate to the contract. But GPs who look at their computer screens every day will notice the absence of those five indicators – now, there may just be one or two. For the QOF itself, we’ve removed 238 points. There were three DESs last year that were an annoyance to my practice and to others – they have now gone, and so have the QP indicators.

That is a positive step forward, but it has been overshadowed by the bigger issues around workforce, premises, and the huge amount of work that is not being resourced or recognised by policy-makers and the Government. We’ve certainly done the right thing for the contract, but we now need to move on to the bigger pressures that are affecting GPs.