Collective list closure will cause 'maximum disruption' to government

Collective closure of patient lists is the best way for GPs to cause maximum disruption for the government, a group of GPC and LMC representatives have told the profession.

Dr Susie Bayley is among signatories of a letter backing list closure
Dr Susie Bayley is among signatories of a letter backing list closure

A document being circulated among GPs argues that the proposed industrial action currently being balloted on by the BMA is ‘the best choice to cause maximum disruption for government, but minimal harm to patients’.

The letter is signed by a number of prominent GP leaders, including BMA deputy chair Dr David Wrigley, chair of BMA London regional council Dr Gary Marlowe, GPC members Dr Jackie Applebee, Dr Louise Irvine, Dr Stephanie deGiorgio, Dr Zoe Norris, GP Survival chair Dr Matt Mayer, and LMC representative Dr Susie Bayley.

Practices are being asked by the BMA in the indicative ballot whether they are prepared temporarily to suspend new patient registrations or apply to their local commissioner for formal list closure as a form of industrial action.

Industrial action

The decision to ballot the profession was agreed by LMC representatives at their annual conference in Edinburgh in May in response to what they say is the failure of NHS England's GP Forward View to deliver the resources necessary to sustain services.

If practices vote 'yes' to action in the ballot, which runs until 10 August, the GPC will ask the BMA council to review the results and consider a formal ballot.

Advice published by GPC last week alongside voting instructions warned practices could face breach notices if any action is deemed a breach of contract.

The latest advice letter, which states it should be read alongside the earlier official GPC document, argues that ‘if carried out on the grounds of patient safety’, list closures are ‘allowed under the contract’.

Patient safety

It adds: ‘Any action by medical professionals is only done with a heavy heart. In advising practices to consider list closure, our representatives are clear that this is a way of causing maximum disruption to the government’s plans for the NHS, registering our disdain at their failure to adequately fund general practice, whilst causing no harm to our registered patients.’

The letter also encourages GPs to ask patients to support the action with petitions and letters to MPs. ‘Our patients are the strongest weapon we have in fighting for general practice. Tell them what you are doing and why,' it says. It adds that the risk to patients is greater if GPs do not take action to stop the collapse of the service. ‘If this list closure happens nationwide however it causes a significant increase in workload for NHS England, as well as public embarrassment to the government,' it says.

The document sets out a series of actions the government could take to resolve the crisis including increasing GPs' share of health spending to 15%, covering GP indemnity in the same way as hospital doctors, allowing patients to refer themselves for some secondary care services, and removing the hurdles to access GP Forward View money.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

BMA condemns 'fundamentally flawed' £20m weight management enhanced service

BMA condemns 'fundamentally flawed' £20m weight management enhanced service

The BMA has condemned a £20m weight management enhanced service as 'fundamentally...

GP contract update delivers extra PCN cash and £50m for new enhanced services

GP contract update delivers extra PCN cash and £50m for new enhanced services

An update to the GP contract agreement for 2021/22 has set out details of enhanced...

CQC rejects call for independent review to look at BAME bias in ratings

CQC rejects call for independent review to look at BAME bias in ratings

The CQC has rejected calls for an independent review of its ratings process to look...

GMC reforms 'unfair on ill doctors' and could drive up investigations

GMC reforms 'unfair on ill doctors' and could drive up investigations

Planned GMC reforms could lead to unfair treatment of doctors who are ill and drive...

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Tens of millions of COVID-19 jabs have been administered across England, but how...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...