GPs call for incentives to take on partners

LMCs annual conference - Partnerships set to dominate debates in June - Privatisation fears - Prevalence losses.

GPs will demand financial incentives for practices to take on partners at next month's LMCs conference, amid growing fears that the future of independent contractor status is at risk.

South Essex LMC has submitted a motion calling for 'contractual incentives which will encourage practices to take on more GP partners'.

A motion from Bexley LMC also expresses concern about the lack of partnerships and 'whether GPs will be able to maintain independent contractor status for much longer'.

The motion echoes the findings of a GP survey last week, which found just 20 per cent of GPs believe independent contractor status will remain in 10 years (GP, 24 April).

A motion from GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman's LMC, Barnet, suggests the DoH is deliberately eroding GPs' status (see box).

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GP the GPC would do its best to negotiate anything LMCs voted for.

But he warned that incentives to take on partners would be a 'fundamental change' that would go away from the practice-based contract the DoH wanted new GMS to be.

He admitted that availability of partnerships had fallen, but said GPs should not 'go running to the DoH to solve that '.

Dr Vautrey said the GPC would point out to practices the benefits of taking on partners.

The rise in salaried GPs has also prompted a slew of motions calling for revisions to the BMA's model contract for salaried GPs.

A motion from Greenwich LMC calls for 'radical revision' of the model contract, as 'some of the provisions of employment for salaried doctors are totally unrealistic'.

Opposition to privatisation will also feature heavily. A Cornwall LMC motion calls for a ban on APMS where existing services are adequate.

London LMCs will call for fairer pay for the capital after being hit hard by the changes to the prevalence formula.

Other motions will call on the DoH to stop undermining GPs. Wiltshire LMC is urging the GPC to 'oppose government attempts to wreck the core values of family GPs.

The annual LMCs conference will take place on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June in London.

Motions submitted by LMCs

South Essex LMC: That conference believes that the GPC should develop contractual incentives which will encourage practices to recruit new GP partners.

Cornwall LMC: Conference agrees that expensive APMS practices should not be allowed to open in areas where there is clearly adequate existing GP cover.

Lambeth LMC: That conference is seriously concerned about the loss of income to many practices which will result from the QOF prevalence changes.

Barnet LMC: That conference deplores the government's current privatisation agenda which is leading to the development of a universal salaried service with the aim of eroding the independent contractor status of GPs.

Derbyshire LMC: That this conference, in relation to the proposed revalidation system, (i) is concerned about its development, (ii) believes that the proposed system of learning credits is complex and puts an unfair burden on the appraiser to judge whether the number of credits claimed is appropriate, (iii) believes that the process is likely to be discriminatory against GPs who are locums or have portfolio careers.

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