GPC faces grilling by angry LMCs

Ebbing confidence in the GPC is likely to be a major talking point at next week's LMCs conference, according to conference chairman Dr Fay Wilson.

She said work needed to be done to raise morale among GPs and faith in the direction of government policy in the NHS.

'This year the LMCs conference is attracting a lot of attention from outside GP circles,' she said. 'This is not something we've seen for quite a while and that reflects very much more on the role that GPs are now being asked to play in healthcare.

'There are a lot of concerns among GPs and it will be good to get them out in the open on the first day. I think it's going to be more heated than usual this year and there are big issues under discussion and not as many minor issues in people's minds.

'GPs do want a change of direction and a change in attitude in the way doctors are treated. Politicians are definitely opening their offensive on the medical professions with GPs.'

Another hot topic is the slow implementation of practice-based commissioning, she said.

Dr Wilson added: 'Do we have confidence in the government? Do we have confidence in the GPC? There are voices of discontent in its ability to represent us. Is there a level playing field for consortia of GPs to tender for business against the private sector? These are all questions that will probably be the main themes of the LMCs conference.'

Last year Lord Warner became the first health minister to speak at the event, but his replacement Andy Burnham will not do so in 2007.

This year the GP news team will offer up-to-the-minute reports on all the important debates at the conference on Thursday 14 June and Friday 15 June in London at our website, There will also be a live blog.

To kick off our coverage, we have chosen seven of the more contentious motions to be debated and given you the chance to vote (see box).

Have your vote on new LMC motions

Click here to answer some questions.

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