Exclusive: GPC takes more active role in Darzi implementation

Relations with DoH thaw over Darzi and pay review.

The GPC has broken from its recent record of non-engagement on the Darzi review, by joining the DoH's implementation panel.

The committee will also submit joint evidence with NHS Employers to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) proposing changes for next year's contract.

Sources say that both moves suggest a thaw in relations.

Unlike bodies such as the RCGP, NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care, the BMA was not involved in drawing up policy for the Next Stage Review.

Deputy GPC chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the BMA had not taken part to avoid being forced to sign up to policies it disagreed with.

'But now the policy direction has been set, it's our view we need to be realistic and move forward,' he added. 'We're working with the DoH to ensure that the new developments work within the existing framework of general practice.'

NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon welcomed the GPC's engagement. 'We've had a lot of strategies in general practice, and quite a few were never implemented because frontline clinicians weren't on board.'

Dr Vautrey also confirmed that joint evidence would be submitted this week, covering areas of the contract on which the GPC and NHS Employers are in broad agreement.

No joint evidence was submitted last year, after negotiations collapsed.

Dr David Jenner, GMS contract lead at the NHS Alliance, said both the government and the BMA were taking a 'more pragmatic approach' to negotiations this year.


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