Johnson makes direct contract appeal to all GPs by letter

Health secretary Alan Johnson has attempted to bypass the BMA, by appealing directly to GPs to accept the government’s proposed contract.

Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson

In a letter sent to every GP in England, he laid out the government's plans for a 1.5 per cent increase in investment in return for an extra 30 minutes opening per week for every 1,000 patients.

Mr Johnson said that he is ‘disappointed' by the BMA's suggestion that these proposals would damage care for older people and heart disease, and points to incentives in the quality framework to maintain care in these areas. 

He also claimed that the ‘alternative proposals' which would be imposed if GPs reject the offer ‘would enable the NHS to work locally with GP practices to make better use of resources'.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw told the BBC this morning that the government believed that ‘the current leadership of the BMA don't really speak for the profession at large'. 

‘They've misrepresented the negotiations and they've misrepresented the offer that the government is making,' he added.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman  of the GPC, said that Mr Bradshaw’s comments were 'extraordinary'.

'We've seen GPs up and down the country turning out in large numbers to meetings, and they’ve clearly very angry,'  he said.

'The mood we reflect is consistent with the mood of GPs we've seen.'

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