Exclusive: Labour says GP contract changes risk destabilising primary care

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said the GP contract proposals risk destabilising primary care and that the government made a 'big mistake' in the way it handled negotiations.

Speaking exclusively to GPonline.com, this week, Mr Burnham said the DH’s plans for the GMS contract in 2013/14 were unrealistic and could lead to redundancies in primary care.

The former health secretary, who believes Labour can win the next general election, said: ‘The range of what is being asked of people here could severely test some practices’ ability to deliver.

‘I am a bit worried that we will see redundancies in primary care, whether practices will be able to hold onto all of their staff.

‘It would be a disaster now if next year we see primary care destabilised and general practice destabilised along with the rest of the NHS.’

On the negotiations between the DH and the GPC, which broke down in October, he said: ‘I think the government has taken a big risk with the way that it has handled these negotiations. I think it made a big mistake.

‘When you don’t properly listen to the profession, that is when government is at its worst and that is when mistakes are made.’

When Mr Burnham was asked if the proposals risk destabilising primary care, he said: ‘I do. I can remember when we were looking at QOF and the things that we would be asking of people. It had to be done carefully. We had to be strict at times, if you were adding something in, you had to take something out.

Inside Commissioning blog: Labour shadow health minister focusing on NHS reform debate

* A full interview with Mr Burnham will appear in the next issue of GP, dated 7 January.

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

Communication failures 'stopping GPs doing their jobs', PCN leaders warn

Communication failures 'stopping GPs doing their jobs', PCN leaders warn

'Poorly executed' communications from NHS and government officials are preventing...

Oxford COVID vaccine is up to 90% effective, latest data reveal

Oxford COVID vaccine is up to 90% effective, latest data reveal

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford has been shown to be 70.4%...

GPs expect major COVID vaccination role as soon as first doses are ready

GPs expect major COVID vaccination role as soon as first doses are ready

GPs are expecting to be heavily involved in delivering COVID-19 vaccination in England...

GP phone lines 'jammed' as flu jab expansion comes without warning

GP phone lines 'jammed' as flu jab expansion comes without warning

Practices have reported phone lines being 'jammed' with a deluge of calls from patients...

Scottish GPs to play 'key role' in COVID vaccine programme run by health boards

Scottish GPs to play 'key role' in COVID vaccine programme run by health boards

GPs in Scotland are to play a 'key role' in a COVID-19 vaccination programme expected...

Pandemic offers one-off chance to reform NHS culture and retain doctors, says GMC chair

Pandemic offers one-off chance to reform NHS culture and retain doctors, says GMC chair

The COVID-19 pandemic is a one-off opportunity to create a more compassionate work...