Incentives for practices to take on partners is backed

The GPC must negotiate 'new contractual incentives' to encourage practices to take on partners, the ARM has said.

The conference also backed motions describing the increase in salaried GPs as a 'substantial threat' to independent contractor status, and calling on the BMA to resist pressure to 'remove this tried and tested model'.

Dr Michelle Drage, joint chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, said she was appalled to find herself proposing a motion which described partnerships as the 'gold standard' of general practice, adding: 'Talk about the bleeding obvious.'

'We need to have new incentives built into the system. How sad it is that practices are not taking on partners as it's uneconomic to do so.'

The whole of London advertised just one partnership vacancy in the whole of 2008, she added.

Dr Penelope James, a salaried GP, said that vacancies for salaried posts currently outnumbered partnerships by a factor of three to one.

'If partners aren't taken on, how will we learn the skills of practice management?' she asked. 'Who will be the independent contractors of the future?'

The entire motion passed by a sizeable majority.

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