Hard-pressed inner-city GPs condemn lack of representation

High list turnover, illegal migrants and prevalence pay cuts have driven inner-city practice down to a new nadir, GPs have warned.

Dr Paddy Glackin
Dr Paddy Glackin

Inner-city GPs have had a ‘terrible' year, according to Camden and Islington LMC secretary Dr Paddy Glackin.

Unrest among inner-city GPs is now threatening professional cohesion as they fear their interests are not represented.

‘At some point inner-city GPs must ask why we pay our GPC levy when we continue to lose out,' Dr Glackin said.

‘If people get pushed far enough they will seek other means of representation. I think the appetite is beginning to grow at LMC level.'

Unregistered patients make up 10-15% of inner-city populations, Dr Glackin said.

This creates a ‘farce of fair share allocations' as patients are on GP lists but PCTs are not funded for them, he said.

‘In Newham the unregistered population is 50,000 more than stated,' Dr Glackin added.

High turnover of 25-30% of GP lists in most of inner London puts practices into a ‘qualitatively different situation' to practices with the national turnover rate of 5%, Dr Glackin said.

Dr Robert Morley, chief executive of Birmingham LMCs, warned: ‘When the PCT is not funded, practices pick up the tab.

Unregistered patients should be recognised historically via MPIG. But if it's a growing problem, they won't be.'

‘If a patient is not entitled to NHS care and requires immediate necessary treatment, we treat and our pay does not recognise this,' he said.

This year's LMCs' conference rejected calls for special representation for inner-city GPs.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that the GPC devotes time to all groups of GPs. He pointed out that several negotiators practise in inner-city areas.



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