GMS reform could force practice closures, Welsh LMCs warn

Practices could be forced to close as 2013/14 GMS contract changes including enhanced services cuts add to existing 'low morale and workload saturation', the UK's first LMC conference of 2013 will warn.

Dr Charlotte Jones: workload tops concerns at Welsh LMCs conference (photo: David Williams)
Dr Charlotte Jones: workload tops concerns at Welsh LMCs conference (photo: David Williams)

Workload is set to dominate the Welsh LMCs conference in Chester on Saturday, along with concerns about a growing workforce crisis and unresourced work moving from hospitals to primary care.

One motion for debate warns that the conference ‘notes with anger the impact that the GMS contract 2013/14 will bring together with threats to enhanced service funding on a background of low morale and workload saturation much of which will threaten the viability of practices’.

Motions submitted by LMCs reveal that many GPs in Wales remain worried about the potential removal of MPIG top-ups to core pay despite the Welsh government’s pledge to keep it until a better alternative is agreed with GPC Wales.

Deputy chair of GPC Wales Dr Charlotte Jones, who will chair the LMCs conference, met with the Welsh government yesterday.

‘It was amicable and we discussed funding issues,' she said. ‘From now going forward we will look at fairer funding. MPIG stays if we can’t say that we are doing something that is better.’

One of four MPIG motions up for discussion warns that the removal of MPIG would 'create a significant and potentially catastrophic gap in practice finances that may destabilise many practices and result in a real service delivery shortfall for patients'.

Dr Jones said the conference would be dominated by concerns about the GP contract, recruitment and workload.

The final motion listed for debate, put forward by North Wales LMC, pleads for the conference to return to Wales next year. It reads: ‘Conference warns all delegates of Welsh birth that if they are caught within the city walls of Chester after midnight they are fair target to any archers that are about, and urges that any further conferences are held within Wales to prevent such dangers, especially given the current manpower crisis.’

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