GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey described the mood at the first GPC meeting of the year yesterday as very angry and has urged all GPs to complete a BMA survey so that it can present a united front to the DH.
Both Northern Ireland GPC and Wales GPC are edging towards a deal with their respective governments after Scotland GPC negotiated a separate Scotland GP contract deal last year.
Dr Vautrey who will be leading the first BMA roadshow about the contracts in London on 4 February, said that many LMCs are also planning events to inform GPs about the consequences of the plans.
‘The biggest issue GPs are worried about is workload as they are already workload saturated,’ he said. ‘If these proposals go through practices are going to have to make serious decisions about staffing arrangements.
‘My advice to GPs would be to get as much information as possible about the contract imposition either by coming to one of our roadshows or by going to events organised by LMCs so that GPs can be fully aware of the complexity and breadth of the plans and what they can do.
‘The mood on the GPC is very angry. It doesn’t understand and is baffled as to why the government in England is being intransigent when Scotland has reached a deal and Northern Ireland is inching towards a deal.’
However, a DH spokeswoman said: 'We have never walked away from negotiations with the BMA and would be happy to resume discussions so an agreed settlement can be reached. The GPC continues to refuse to meet with the DH's negotiators and has cancelled meetings.'
The BMA survey, launched this week to inform its official response to a DH consultation on the contract proposals, asks GPs if they would quit the NHS if the proposals went through and how the changes would affect practice staffing levels.
‘The more GPs who take part in the survey, the more we can say to the government we are reflecting the views of the profession,' Dr Vautrey said.
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.
The DH’s consultation on its plans is due to close on 26 February.