Editorial: Now is time for DH contract concessions

More than 7,700 GPs in England took part in the recent BMA poll that forms part of its response to government plans to reform the GMS contract.

Perhaps the poll's most startling finding was that one in eight GPs would quit the NHS if the DH goes ahead with plans to overhaul the GMS contract and thousands would cut back on their involvement with CCGs because of rising workload.

Some GPs have been critical about the GPC's negotiating stance but this criticism seems to have been predominantly based on the difference in results achieved in the four UK countries and given that each has a different government, this is perhaps inevitable.

Last November we reflected that it was difficult to remember a more dramatic fortnight in general practice as 2013/14 GMS contract talks broke down so acrimoniously.

What the BMA has succeeded in doing in the intervening four months is to build a clearly compelling case on the basis of its large survey of a profession anticipating buckling under the sheer weight of what it is now being asked to do.

Negotiators have been clever in using the Francis report as leverage and drawing parallels with the quality premium and the target-driven, bullying culture behind failings in Mid Staffordshire.

The DH's response, including the line: 'Our proposals are not about imposing new targets', illustrates perfectly why talks broke down.

The BMA's survey and evidence are so comprehensive and well-argued, the DH would be extremely foolish not to offer some concessions.

The Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body has already submitted its report to health secretary Jeremy Hunt's in-tray. This may have been published by the time this issue of GP is with you and may offer an obvious compromise.

Otherwise GP would suggest the Family Doctor Association's response, proposing a freeze on changes to QOF achievement thresholds for a year, as a starting point for renewed discussions.

At least this stance would offer some recognition that the DH has been pushing too hard and too fast for change.

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

GP services could be outsourced overseas under licensing changes being explored by the GMC

GP services could be outsourced overseas under licensing changes being explored by the GMC

General practice could be outsourced to digital medical services based overseas under...

London CCGs contest demands to pay for patients moving to GP at Hand

London CCGs contest demands to pay for patients moving to GP at Hand

London CCGs are contesting demands that they pay for patients who have signed up...

GP who secretly filmed CQC inspection suspended for two months

GP who secretly filmed CQC inspection suspended for two months

A single-handed GP who made covert audio and video recordings of his CQC inspection...

GMC sanction 12 times more likely for doctors who do badly in postgrad exams

GMC sanction 12 times more likely for doctors who do badly in postgrad exams

Doctors who perform poorly in postgraduate professional exams are twelve times more...

GP indemnity costs set to rise under government regulation plans

GP indemnity costs set to rise under government regulation plans

GPs could face increased costs under plans to regulate provision of medical indemnity,...

New vitamin D guidelines aim to provide clarity on testing and prescribing

New vitamin D guidelines aim to provide clarity on testing and prescribing

Dr Terry Aspray explains what the National Osteoporosis Society's new clinical guidelines...