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

Slight increase in GP workforce in past year, but number of partners continues to fall

Slight increase in GP workforce in past year, but number of partners continues to fall

The GP workforce grew by 0.4% in the year to March 2021, but the number of GP partners...

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Viewpoint: Patients and GPs are unhappy with access to general practice, what's the solution?

Practices are deluged with work, yet many people still think they are ‘closed’. The...

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

Start date for COVID-19 booster campaign unclear, vaccines minister admits

A UK COVID-19 booster campaign could start from September - but could also remain...

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

BMA demands 'systemic change' after LMC report exposes racism in primary care

Most black, Asian and minority ethnic primary care staff have experienced racism...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Loss of appetite - red flag symptoms

Loss of appetite - red flag symptoms

Red flag symptoms in patients with loss of appetite and the importance of taking...