Celtic GMS contract proposed

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could form their own contract if more commissioning incentives are put into the UK GMS contract, according to GPC negotiators.

Dr Bailey: ‘The philosophy gap between England and the Celts is concerning all of us who would like to see consistency’
Dr Bailey: ‘The philosophy gap between England and the Celts is concerning all of us who would like to see consistency’

GPC negotiator Dr Brian Dunn said a ‘Celtic fringe contract’ might be created if the government insists on top-slicing the GMS contract to fund a ‘quality premium’ to reward GP consortia in England.

Speaking at the conference of Welsh LMCs in Newport, GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey said the GPC would resist moves to split the UK contract as it protects the smaller nations from funding cuts.

‘You have to ask, would a separate contract be better funded without England? Probably not,’ he said.

He also warned that the government’s proposed move to a single GP contract in the next few years ‘possibly without correction factor’ would seriously destabilise rural practices in Wales.

Representatives at the conference voted to support a UK-wide contract for GPs and resist attempts by the Welsh Assembly Government to fragment GMS in Wales.

Earlier in March, Scottish GPs voted against splitting from the UK contract at their LMC conference in Glasgow.

‘The philosophy gap between England and the Celts is concerning all of us who would like to see consistency,’ said Dr Bailey.

GPs called for all health boards in Wales to publish details of ‘every penny’ of GMS and enhanced service expenditure, amid concerns that money had been diverted to secondary care this year.

Dr Jonathan Jones, of North Wales LMC, said: ‘If funds have been misdirected it should be put back in to GMS. This money was spent in our area this year on monitoring GPs,’ he said.

The conference also called on the Welsh assembly to ensure that any elements of the English Health Bill that are adopted in Wales have the support of GPs.  

Dr Sean Young, of Morgannwg LMC, applauded the Bill for ‘putting GPs at the heart of health care planning’ rather than the ‘tokenistic involvement’ offered by Wales’ government.

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