From your BMA GPs committee chair
The profession speaks
The annual local medical committees conference starts tomorrow.
More than 600 representatives from LMCs, which represent grassroots GPs across the UK, will gather in London during the next two days to discuss the key issues facing general practice and the NHS.
It will be the first opportunity for the democratic voice of the profession to respond to the newly elected Government about the things that really matter to general practice.
A ‘new deal’
At a time when the health secretary has declared that general practice should be offered a ‘new deal’, it is vital this addresses the reality of the pressures, concerns and hopes of everyday hardworking GPs – whose goodwill and support will be crucial for the NHS to function with an effective general practice infrastructure.
Health policy must be cognisant of the perspective and reality of GPs at the coalface – not just from those who lead change or have the loudest voices.
The conference agenda comprises more than 200 motions, which have been prioritised for debate. The issues covered, among many more, will include:
• Unsustainable workload
• Workforce problems
• Ways of working including a motion to debate a salaried service
• Taking action on the over-regulation of general practice.
It is clear from the agenda that GPs are prepared to consider many alternatives to preserve the values and qualities that have underpinned general practice, which are so highly valued by patients.
During the debates and voting on motions, voices are often raised, tempers sometimes inflamed when there is disagreement, but there is a great sense of camaraderie in our common purpose to secure the future of general practice.
This is the essence of the conference – an opportunity to air concerns, speak forcefully about the things that affect GPs and patients, argue if necessary and ultimately to steer the policy of the BMA GPs committee for the coming year.
You will have many different opportunities to watch the conference or participate, as detailed below, and we welcome your ideas and feedback.
I will be delivering my keynote speech at 10am tomorrow and will put forward how I believe the Government needs to rebuild general practice so that it can genuinely be the cornerstone of the future NHS, and allow us to deliver the safe, quality service we all want to offer patients.
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