BMA to debate industrial action on GP contract
By Nick Bostock, 03 June 2013
GPs should be balloted over industrial action on GMS contract changes and a boycott of CCGs, the BMA's London Regional Council will argue this month.
The council will also call for the resignation of GPC leaders who signed up to plans for GPs to be contractually required to be members of CCGs.
A motion proposed for debate at the BMA annual representative meeting (ARM) says the imposed 2013/14 GP contract will result in ‘an increase in workload and reduced funding’.
It accuses the government of ‘a provocative move to hasten the rundown and closure of smaller GP general practices and their amalgamation into large commercial multi-practices’.
The BMA and GPC should ballot the profession over industrial action to ‘stop the imposition’ of the contract deal, and include a question on the ballot about ‘the option of a boycott of CCGs’, the London Regional Council’s motion says.
ARM debates will reflect many of the warnings heard at last month’s UK LMCs conference about rising workload and pressure on GPs, and calls for urgent action to address a looming GP workforce crisis.
GP leaders will call for an end to referral restrictions, a return to an evidence-based QOF and improvements to GP training.
GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Clearly the 2013/14 contract imposition is going to adversely affect all practices, but in particular small practices will find it difficult to manage due to economies of scale.
‘This is the single greatest de-funding of general practice since the current contract’s inception.’
He said motions calling for ballots on industrial action reflected the ‘strength of feeling and the impact of the government’s heavy handed approach’.
He added: ‘It is possible for the government to reverse the changes. I hope it will take note. The government has been unwise in how it has handled GPs at a time when it needs their goodwill.’
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