LMC Conference 2016: GP Forward View cash will be too late to save general practice

GP representatives have welcomed the GP Forward View proposals but demanded more urgent, dedicated funding to save general practice from collapse.

Dr Richard Vautrey: new funding needed quickly (Image: JH Lancy)
Dr Richard Vautrey: new funding needed quickly (Image: JH Lancy)

Speakers at the national LMCs conference instructed the GPC to press for further resources to support struggling GPs now, rather than waiting until 2020 for investment pledges to be fulfilled.

GPC member Dr Nigel Watson said he welcomed the NHS England document but it had to be properly implemented: ‘If it is, we have half a chance of rescuing general practice. If it is not, it will be the death knell of not only general practice but also the NHS.

‘Delivering the GP Forward View must become more important to the NHS and politicians than enforcing the four-hour wait target. We should welcome the document but ensure that we hold them to account.’

But East Midlands LMC representative Dr Susie Bayley said the document was ‘a shocking pile of steaming false promises.’

'GPs are on their knees now'

She told the London conference: ‘It’s not going to help GPs who are on their knees now. The money sounds good but it’s going to new schemes, not into core funding.’

Dr Pritt Buttar, of Oxfordshire LMC, said the £2.4bn funding promised for general practice by 2020 would arrive too late.

‘What’s going to kill the profession is the growing mismatch between supply and demand, and there’s nothing in the GP Forward View to address that. Why do we have to wait five years for this funding when hospitals are bailed out every single year?’

Bro Taf LMC representative Dr Sarah Morgan said the document was evidence of ‘collusion’ between the government and the GPC.

‘The GP Forward View looks reasonable and quite sensitive on the face of it but it’s just a work-around. There is no Plan B. What we need is for the resources and control to be given to GPs so we can do the job we were trained to do.’

GP partner resigned over funding pressures

South West England GP Dr Noushaba Nabi said she had left her role as a practice partner last week because of funding and workload pressures.

‘The GP Forward View has done nothing to change my mind. I want to see a massive hike in the global sum and I want to see it now, not tomorrow - without it, the workforce crisis will only deepen.’

GPC member Dr Gill Beck said the funding offered in the document was ‘more vanity money’ for schemes that would expect GPs to ‘jump through more hoops.’

‘We need saving now. If we wait until 2020 there will be no GP practices left to invest in. We should not accept anything but more money now.’

Deputy chair of GPC Dr Richard Vautrey said the profession should welcome the statement from NHS England chief Executive Simon Stevens admitting that general practice had been significantly underfunded for a decade.

‘We should welcome the £2.4bn but the timing is the problem and we need to get that funding flowing into the system as soon as possible.'

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