DH plans will force practices to take on more work, warns GPC

Practices will feel 'compelled' to take on new work simply to maintain funding under government plans for the GP contract, the GPC has warned.

Dr Laurence Buckman: practices will have no choice but to accept extra work
Dr Laurence Buckman: practices will have no choice but to accept extra work

In a letter to the profession at the weekend, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman repeated his warning that practices will face 'significant increases in their workload' under contract changes proposed by the government.

He announced the profession will be surveyed for their views on the DH's consultation of the plans, which is due to be launched shortly.

The government wants to adopt all changes to the QOF proposed by NICE, as well as scrap the organisational domain and redistribute points to new indicators and enhanced services.

Dr Buckman said practices would effectively be forced to take on the new work. 'The new QOF and enhanced services work will be theoretically optional, but I believe that, to try to maintain funding, many practices will feel compelled to take on this new work, despite being already stretched.'

He added that the contract changes 'would place a further strain on GPs and their staff at a time when many are already struggling with the work shift into general practice and the increasing complexity and intensity of our surgeries'.

The GPC will run a series of UK-wide roadshows in the New Year and a survey of GPs 'to hear from you and inform our robust response to the government’s consultation', Dr Buckman said.

The GPC said further details of the government's plans are 'expected imminently'.

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