BMA – GP’s Prepared to suspend patient registration

BMA – GP’s Prepared to suspend patient registration

  The BMA GPs committee England has released the results of our indicative survey of GP practices on willingness to close practice lists, following the resolution from the LMC Conference in May this year. The full results are available here. With nearly 2,000 responses, the results show that a small majority (54%) would consider temporarily suspending new patient registration, but a minority (44%) would be in favour of applying for a formal list closure. The strength of feeling shown by those who responded means we are calling on the Government to address the crisis urgently. Practices have judged that the GP Forward View is failing to sustain general practice or provide the support that practices need right now. GPs and practices are facing intense pressures owing to the Government’s lack of support. Understaffing, underfunding and overworking are three pressures we constantly hear quoted, but there are many others, all combining to make general practice currently an unsustainable service and an unsustainable career option. However, it is a career that we have chosen and we all want to see sustained with sensible, long-term solutions, for us and for our patients. There is much the Government needs to do, most importantly: – A swift resolution to the indemnity crisis – A limit to workload levels so that no patient or doctor is put at risk – A sustainable expansion of the general practice and community workforce (with an end to short-term schemes with non-recurrent funding) – Surgery buildings that are fit for the 21st century. We ask practices and GPs to engage with their local medical committees and regional GPC representatives...
BMA – A call for an adequately resourced NHS

BMA – A call for an adequately resourced NHS

    Dear , Most of us are still trying to make sense of the general election result, which returned a minority Conservative Government. While the election was called on the issue of leaving the EU, it has become abundantly clear that the public were just as interested in domestic issues – and in particular, the NHS. Reflecting on the TV debates, media coverage and public views, it is evident that the electorate is no longer prepared to put up with the political pretence of promising a comprehensive NHS without ministers backing this up by providing the resources needed to care for the growing needs of the population. This was highlighted in health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s own constituency, where BMA member and GP Louise Irvine (NHS Action Party) contested the seat and received more than 12,000 votes (which was a 20 per cent share of the vote in that constituency overall) – a significant increase from the 4,851 votes which she received in 2015. This was a great achievement by Louise, which starkly underlined the vital importance of the NHS in the public’s eye. While we have the same Government and the same health secretary, there is a clear mandate from the electorate for a change of policy, and a call for a new post-election manifesto that abandons austerity and cuts, in favour of funding the NHS properly so that doctors have the time and tools to care for patients. The fact we have a minority Government can also act as leverage, with pressure from other parties and wider stakeholders, to enable this – and this will be a...
BMA – Setting the Agenda LMC Conference 2017

BMA – Setting the Agenda LMC Conference 2017

Dear , As you are aware the BMA local medical committees annual conference took place on 18 and 19 May in Edinburgh, bringing together representatives from across the UK to debate a range of issues that affect general practice. The conference is not a static, moment-in-time event, but one which has a living reality for the coming year, sending as it does clear messages to the Government from the profession, forming policies, and providing a mandate of work for the BMA GPs committee. In my opening speech (which you can read here, or watch as a webcast here), I starkly highlighted the financial brick wall that the NHS and general practice has faced during the past year, against a backdrop of the electorate having been hoodwinked by the false promise that Brexit would result in an injection of £350m per week in the NHS, when in fact we are experiencing the opposite of continued austerity measures and cuts. Despite this, GPC negotiated positive changes and investment into the GP contract in England, such as ending the avoiding unplanned admissions enhanced service, which has freed GPs and staff from the bureaucracy and workload of chasing statistics of care plans and reports. Practices can now claim full reimbursement of CQC (Care Quality Commission) fees, have guaranteed payment for the unpredictability of practice GP sickness absence, receive funding for expenses, and with a global sum that has increased by nearly £5 per head. I reiterated that these contract improvements cannot address the overarching crisis in general practice resulting from a decade of neglect and disinvestment. Many of our pressures relate to a...
BMA – One Year On – ensuring delivery of the GP Forward View

BMA – One Year On – ensuring delivery of the GP Forward View

  Dear , We’ve just passed the first anniversary of the launch of the GP Forward View – NHS England’s five-year programme of investment and support for general practice in England. The BMA GPs committee is committed to holding NHS England to account on its pledges to invest £2.4bn in general practice recurrently by 2020/21, and also that transformation monies of £508m reach the coalface of practices to support workload pressures. We have over the past year monitored and scrutinised spend and delivery against those stated objectives. As part of that process, I represent GPC on NHS England’s GPFV advisory group which provides oversight of progress against stated commitments. We’ve also set up a GPFV LMC reference group comprising of regional local medical committee representatives across England that provides feedback on local realities to senior managers at NHS England. In addition, we have a dedicated GPC GPFV policy lead, Chandra Kanneganti, who provides support to LMCs regarding local GPFV implementation. The BMA has just published our GPFV One Year On analysis, which has been written in collaboration with LMCs. This demonstrates that although there has been increased investment in general practice over the past year, implementation of the GPFV has been woefully patchy and variable, with an unacceptable disconnect in many instances between central NHS England policy and CCG (clinical commissioning group) delivery. For example, although the practice resilience monies for 2016/17 have now been spent, there were protracted delays in many CCGs, leaving practices struggling to survive without much needed support until the end of March 2017, whereas in other areas practices had received proactive support, for instance...
BMA – GP Retention Scheme launched: what it means for you

BMA – GP Retention Scheme launched: what it means for you

    Dear , At a time of severe GP shortages, when we know that one in three GPs surveyed intend to retire in the next five years, it is vital that every effort should be made to retain the trained GP workforce. I am therefore pleased that the GP Retention Scheme has now been launched, which GPC has helped negotiate on your behalf through the 2017/18 GMS contract negotiations, as well as it being a commitment in the GP Forward View. You can read our step-by-step guide to accessing the scheme, including who is eligible, funding available, support provided to practices employing a retained doctor, and a set of FAQs. In essence, the GP Retention Scheme (formerly the Retained Doctor Scheme) is a package of support and resources aimed at GPs who may be considering leaving the profession, to remain in clinical practice providing between one and four sessions per week. It includes protected time for continuing professional development with educational support. The scheme supports both the GP who is being retained and the practice employing them by offering financial support in recognition of the fact that this role is different to a ‘regular’ part-time, salaried GP post, offering greater flexibility and support. Retained GPs may be on the scheme for a maximum of five years with an annual review each year to ensure that the GP concerned remains in need of the scheme and that the practice is meeting its obligations. Practices will be resourced to pay the retained GP an annual professional expenses supplement of £1,000 per weekly contracted session to help fund the cost of...