GP partnership model 'contributing to recruitment crisis', LMCs warn

The GP partnership model is 'contributing to the present recruitment crisis' facing general practice, LMC leaders in Northern Ireland have warned.

Dr Alan Stout (Photo: BMA Northern Ireland)

GPs from the Eastern LMC will tell the annual Northern Ireland LMCs conference on 17 November that the 'present GP partnership model may no longer be the preferred choice for a significant number of GPs'.

A motion for debate at the conference adds that the model 'is contributing to the present recruitment crisis' -and calls on the BMA to 'begin to examine alternative ways of being contracted to work' in general practice.

Southern LMC will call for opportunities for newly-qualified GPs to become associate partners or non-equity partners, to offer an early route into partnership.

It will also back a motion calling for 'initiatives such as golden hellos and retention initiatives', warning that general practice in Northern Ireland needs 'immediate support' from the government.

GP contracts

The conference on Saturday will hear calls from LMC leaders for the Northern Ireland health board 'to be proactive in identifying struggling practices and working with LMCs to offer meaningful and workable alternatives to handing back of contracts'.

Northern Ireland GPC chair Dr Alan Stout told GPonline earlier this year that contingency planning for practices on the brink was among his top priorities.

He said practices in Belfast were among those handing back their contracts - showing that rural practices were far from the only ones struggling to recruit and retain GPs.

GPs at this month's England LMCs conference are set to demand a 'wholesale new contract' for general practice, while Welsh LMCs warned that general practice faced 'collapse by default' unless the government took action to save partnerships.

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