From your BMA GPs committee chair
The democratic voice of GPs
The agenda of the forthcoming Local Medical Committees conference to be held in London on 21 to 22 May has just been published.
The LMCs conference is the only democratic event for GPs from across the UK to express views and establish policy for the BMA GPs committee.
The motions to be debated have been generated on the ground from everyday GPs via their LMCs throughout the UK.
The conference agenda committee worked hard to put more than 900 motions into a sensible order for debate, and to make sure the issues that really matter to GPs are at the heart of the event.
This year, the conference comes at a pivotal time, just two weeks after the new Government will have come into power.
The role of general practice has been at the centre of this election campaign. Politicians of all parties have conducted a bidding war over who can promise the most for GP services, but few have shown any real recognition of the serious challenges facing general practice, or provided solutions beyond headline pledges.
The motions are an expression of the voice of everyday GPs: their concerns, fears and suggestions for a better future. The conference always guarantees a lively debate and diverging views, including tackling areas of controversy.
Below is a taste of some of the debates prioritised for this year’s conference:
• Calls on Government to stop fuelling unrealistic demands owing to political motives
• Managing workload to safe levels to allow GPs to focus on quality care for their patients
• Addressing workforce pressures including the dire recruitment situation, and to help those who want to return to general practice
• Controversially, consideration of a complete change of contractual model to a fully salaried service
• Equally controversial, changes to rules governing the sale of goodwill, and the introduction of a tariff payment in our contract.
A complete innovation this year will be the introduction of breakout groups to look at the future relationship between GPC and LMCs and grassroots GPs, and indeed how the LMCs conference itself might change.
Just two weeks away, the LMCs conference will be the first major conference of health professionals since the general election, and will be an ideal opportunity for the democratic voice of GPs to set the agenda for the new Government.
GPs will want to use the occasion to ask whatever Government is in power to stop stoking unrealistic expectations of general practice at a time when GPs are overstretched and at breaking point, and instead help us to turn things around.
They can do this by: dealing with excessive workload demands, and the increasing burden of regulation and inspection on general practice; by providing a proper occupational health service for GPs; by helping GP returners come back to the profession – and many other suggestions that will be debated at the conference.
Above all, they can do it by saying thank you to hard-pressed GPs and offering support rather than criticism. They can stop playing politics with general practice and the NHS in general.
Every GP has a chance to be part of this conference. The key motions are going to be debated on BMA Communities, so please get involved and give us your views on how you think we should tackle the big issues.
You can read the full agenda here and there will be full coverage on @TheBMA and our webcast channel on the day.
Follow the conference on twitter using #LMCConf.
For the latest news please visit our website www.bma.org.uk/gpc
With best wishes
BMA GPs committee chair
Great job by the LMCs conference agenda committee
A big thank you to the LMCs conference agenda committee, which has worked tirelessly in rapid time to sift through and organise more than 900 motions.
Pictured from left to right: Emmanuel Owoso (Swansea); Helena McKeown (Wiltshire); Guy Watkins (deputy chair of conference); Peter Horvath-Howard (Dyfed Powys); Mike Ingram (chair of conference); Stephen Meech (Kent); Rachel McMahon (Cleveland); Hal Maxwell (Ayrshire); Karly Jose (BMA secretariat); Stuart Blake (Edinburgh); and Evita Syrengela (BMA secretariat).