GPs in England Reject New Contract

Nicky Broyd

January 17, 2020

Editor's Note, 9th February 2020: There's an update to this story here.

The BMA's GP committee England has voted to reject NHS England's new contract package. 

Details of the deal are confidential but would have covered what's expected from primary care networks (PCNs) over the next 4 years.

The specifications were made available for consultation last month and the BMA said feedback had been "overwhelmingly negative" with practices concerned about levels of workload, especially when many were having recruitment problems.

'Unreasonable and Unachievable'

In a statement, BMA GP committee England Chair Dr Richard Vautrey said the proposals "have clearly been judged by the profession as unreasonable, and completely unachievable.

"At a time when demand and workload for practices are unprecedented, GPs working on the front line felt these draft specifications piled on more pressure and would undermine primary care networks that were only just getting off the ground.
"This overload would therefore put in jeopardy all of the good work and progress PCNs have already made for the good of both staff and patients."

Negotiations will now resume with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Dr Vautrey continued: "This is therefore not the end of the process. We have a clear mandate from our colleagues to negotiate a deal that truly benefits and safeguards general practice, family doctors and their patients."
 

'Learning Opportunity'

NHS England released a statement thanking "the large numbers of GPs, local medical committees (LMCs) and others who have taken the time to read and respond to the drafts".

It continued: "This is the first time that we have shared draft GP contract materials for open engagement. Whatever the views of respondents about the specifications, we view such widespread engagement in a debate about how primary care networks (PCNs) develop as a positive change, and a learning opportunity.

"Having invited your feedback, we want to be absolutely clear that we have heard the views expressed. We will now carefully consider how to respond adequately, balancing the ambition to improve services for patients across England and the need to stabilise general practice, with what can realistically be delivered by PCNs in 2020/21."

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