BMA asks GPs: will contract changes make you quit NHS?

GPs are being asked if they plan to quit the NHS over GMS contract changes, as part of a survey launched today by the BMA.

BMA: GMS contract poll to gauge GPs' views
BMA: GMS contract poll to gauge GPs' views

The BMA is urging all GPs to complete the survey, launched today to inform its official response to a consultation on GMS contract changes the DH plans to impose from 2013/14.

Questions being emailed to GPs in England from today include asking them if they would quit the NHS if the proposals went through and how the changes would affect practice staffing levels.

Reforms the DH plans to impose would axe MPIG over seven years from 2014, creating six-figure swings in income, and could cut practices’ QOF income by £30,000.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘The BMA wants to hear directly from GPs who will have to deal with the implications of these proposed changes on their practice and patients.

‘Our research has shown that the average practice could lose £31,000 in funding and face substantial extra demands on workload at time when many are already struggling to cope with years of contracting practice budgets. It is important that we build up a clear picture of how these policies are going to affect the way GP practices are able to deliver services to their local communities.

‘I would strongly urge all GPs to take a few minutes to fill in this survey and encourage their colleagues to do the same. The BMA has a number of online resources designed to give GPs the facts about the proposals, including a ready reckoner that helps give GPs an estimate of how their practice might be affected financially. We also will be holding a series of roadshows across the country where GPs can put their questions to the BMA about this important issue.

‘It is vital that GPs take this opportunity to have their say and help shape the BMA’s response to these proposals that will profoundly affect the future of general practice.’

Proposals to increase QOF thresholds for achieving maximum points to the level of the best-performing 25% of practices could also affect practice income, the GPC warned.

The GPC has developed a step-by-step guide for GPs to help assess how the contract changes will affect them.

It has also created a ‘ready reckoner’ tool for practices to estimate how much their funding will be affected by changes to QOF.

The DH’s consultation is due to close on 26 February.

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