Contract offer is fair for GPs, health secretary says

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government's proposals for the GP contract are fair for GPs and right for patients and that the government will not back down in its dispute with the BMA.

Mr Hunt: disappointed that agreement has not been reached

Mr Hunt told GP it was 'disappointing' that the BMA had not yet agreed to the proposals issued on Tuesday, after five months of negotiations collapsed. But he repeated his vow that the GP contract 'needs to change' as more people develop long-term conditions.

The GPC has lambasted the government for what it says would be GPs' 'biggest pay cut yet' if the proposals were adopted.

In a letter to the profession on Thursday, the GPC criticised the move as 'fundamentally damaging' to general practice, and refused to return to the negotiating table.

The GPC estimates changes to thresholds of QOF indicators alone could strip an average of £15,000 from practice income.

In response to the GPC's letter, health secretary Jeremy Hunt told GP: 'We’ve put a fair deal on the table which offers GPs more funding but in return for this investment we want to see better care for patients.

'It is disappointing that the BMA have not yet agreed to changes that, for example, could ensure reduced risk of dying prematurely for those with long term health conditions.'

He added: 'We want the BMA to work with us on making this happen but will not back away from making changes that will deliver better care for patients.'

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