GPs warn of workforce crisis if GMS contract changes imposed

GPs are urging the government to listen to the GPC during the consultation launched today, warning GMS contract change imposition would leave it facing a workforce crisis.

Dr Helena McKeown: 'We are working 13 or 14-hour days. People are tired and demoralised'
Dr Helena McKeown: 'We are working 13 or 14-hour days. People are tired and demoralised'

The DH launched a 12-week consultation today on its proposals for the GP contract, which include GPs having to work harder to retain current pay.

It is also proposing that any new funding for practices in 2013/14 will be 'targeted towards those with less current funding per patient'.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that he and his negotiating team were ‘open to real dialogue with the government’ on the proposals.

BMA deputy chairman Dr Kailash Chand said if the proposals went through the government would face a ‘recruitment and workforce crisis’ which would compromise patient care.

‘If you reduce money to primary care then GPs will have to cut costs somehow,’ he said. ‘Everyday the workload is rising and so are expectations.

‘The consequences of these GP contract changes will be a recruitment and workforce crisis and compromise in access for patients.

‘The GPC will want to sit down with the government. It will want to convey that this policy will end in tears for everybody.’

When asked about the possibility of industrial action, he said: ‘The next step is that we will want to go back to the table. The GPC is in a constructive mode. It doesn’t want another workforce crisis to loom.’

GPC member Dr Helena McKeown said: ‘I hope that the government will listen. I have faith in the negotiators. [Whether the government will listen] is uncertain at this moment. We are working 13 or 14-hour days. People are tired and demoralised. I am really concerned about my GP colleagues. This will be the last straw and they will retire early and pack up. To have some sort of unplanned mass walkout would be very sad.’

When asked if the proposals would lead to industrial action, Dr McKeown said: ‘I will leave it to the negotiators to get on with the job.’

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter warned that industrial action was one of the options the GPC could take if the government continued to act in a ‘cavalier manner’ over contract changes, in an interview with GP last month.

The GPC meets on 20 December. The UK BMA Council would have to sanction industrial action. The next council meeting is due to take place on 23 January.

* How the media is reporting the 2013/14 GMS contract changes

* DH plans to scrap MPIG could force 5% of practices out of business

* UK reaction to GMS contract change for England

* QOF thresholds to raise to 100% in contract changes

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Breakthrough for state GP indemnity as second MDO agrees terms on historic liabilities

Breakthrough for state GP indemnity as second MDO agrees terms on historic liabilities

A second medical defence organisation (MDO) has agreed terms for the government to...

Labour pledges to boost GP training places by 50%

Labour pledges to boost GP training places by 50%

The Labour party has announced plans to increase the number of GP trainees in England...

Northern Ireland unveils £27m GP funding boost for 2019/20

Northern Ireland unveils £27m GP funding boost for 2019/20

Investment in general practice in Northern Ireland will rise by £26.76m during the...

'How I survived a bewildering ten-month investigation by the GMC'

'How I survived a bewildering ten-month investigation by the GMC'

How does the experience of a GMC investigation impact on the lives of doctors? One...

90% of patients would recommend their GP practice to friends or family

90% of patients would recommend their GP practice to friends or family

Nine in 10 people would recommend their GP practice to a friend or family member,...

NHS documentary spells out threat to future of the health service

NHS documentary spells out threat to future of the health service

A documentary film appearing in cinemas across the UK next month tells how the NHS...