Responding to an editorial in this fortnight's GP magazine by BMA deputy chairman Dr Kailash Chand headlined 'DH must stop bullying GPs over contract', Mr Royles said: 'Kailash often says that NHS Employers is measured and constructive in its approach. Seeking common ground not conflict.
'So it was surprising for him to say we don't appreciate the concerns of GPs. He knows that the expectations being placed on general practice are no different to those being faced by other NHS providers.
'During last year's negotiations we sought to reach agreement with the GPC on changes that significantly improve patient care and in particular, get more practices to deliver what the better practices already achieve.
'We believe that the package of proposals on which the DH has consulted are consistent with where we tried to take negotiations with the GPC last year.
'We have consistently said we are willing to negotiate. But it was the GPC which chose not to negotiate with NHS Employers and I'm sure that causes anxiety for GPs. Given this I don't know what more we could do. The ball is in the GPC court.
'We need to work together if we are going to make these changes a reality. It is no less than patients deserve from their local services.'
The DH consultation into changes closed at the end of last month. A GPC survey found one in eight GPs were threatening to quit the NHS in response. A Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body recommendation is imminent and the DH has yet to explain how it is to progress.