Don’t stall on pulling practices out of PCNs, GPC is warned

The BMA GP committee must not stall on withdrawal of practices from PCNs, senior doctors have said.

Dr Jackie Applebee
Dr Jackie Applebee

Last week doctors' leaders at the BMA annual representative meeting (ARM) backed a motion by around 2:1 calling for the withdrawal of practices from PCNs by 2023.

But after deputy chair of England’s GP committee, Dr Kieran Sharrock, spoke against the motion at the ARM there are fears that it will be slow to act on implementing the policy.

Dr John Hughes, chair of GP Survival, said PCNs had been a poisoned chalice for the profession.

‘For at least 18 months the GPC executive has been out of step with grassroots GPs, now it’s being told yet again that PCNs have been a disaster,' he said. ‘The GPC executive needs to listen to members and issue a statement on withdrawal from PCNs.’

GPC meeting

The GPC executive is due to hold a meeting on the policy on 21 July.

Dr Jackie Applebee, who spoke in favour of the policy at the ARM, stressed the importance of the GPC taking a lead on withdrawing practices from PCNs rather than leaving individual practices to withdraw by themselves.

‘It’s hard for individual GP practices because they are small and can be victimised, so whatever we do should be done collectively,’ she said.

Dr Sharrock told GPonline: ‘It’s not currently clear how many practices would withdraw from their PCN, but the association will work to provide tools to help surgeries to assess what the impact of withdrawal would be, and, alongside LMCs, work out what ongoing support would be needed for any practice that does choose to withdraw.’

 The calls come less than two months after a QC’s report for the GP Defence Fund found that GP representation in the BMA is ‘dysfunctional’, run by an old boys’ network and disconnected from LMCs and grassroots doctors.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Woman holding face in pain

Should GPs treat patients presenting with dental problems?

The MDU's Dr Kathryn Leask considers what GPs should do if a patient presents with...

Conservative Party leadership candidate and foreign secretary Liz Truss

Liz Truss vows to resolve GP pension tax crisis if she becomes prime minister

Liz Truss has affirmed her commitment to resolving the GP pensions crisis but has...

Baby receiving a vaccine in their thigh

JCVI advises changes to routine childhood and HPV immunisation schedules

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended a change...

GP consultation

General practice delivering 'up to double the appointments it is paid for'

General practice in England may be delivering as many as double the number of appointments...

Sign outside BMA House

GP suicide sparks calls for measures to protect doctors from spiralling workloads

The government and policymakers must do more to safeguard doctors and NHS staff from...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Living with long COVID

In August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the podcast....