Letters: GMS contract not at fault for regional differences

I do have a lot of respect for the ongoing work carried out by Professor Allyson Pollock, however, I feel her recent article is a bit off the mark (GP, 17 October).

As a grass-roots GP I am not disappointed in the BMA leadership negotiating extra resources for my practice in the early years of the new contract, resources which have been invested in an extra partner working in a very deprived Welsh valley.

I am not disappointed in it negotiating a quality framework which has rewarded my practice for the significant progress we have made in improving the care of our patients with many chronic health problems.

I am not disappointed in it negotiating an enhanced services framework which has enabled significant advances in patient care, especially in Wales.

It may surprise Professor Pollock to realise that the GMS contract is still UK-wide. I believe I must have missed the bit in her paragraph on Scotland where she praised the BMA for their leadership in participating in the success of the NHS in Scotland.

In Wales too the BMA is very supportive of Welsh Assembly Government policy, and its clear direction to remove market forces from the NHS in Wales.

I believe this is the same BMA; the same leaders. I am not aware that the BMA leaders hold different policies in England. I would have thought that campaigns led by the BMA such as Support Your Surgery clearly illustrate that the opposite is true.

The problems of the NHS in England may have, in part, arisen from the new contract, but they are driven by government in England. The devolved nations have all used the same contract with clear benefits to patients, without the introduction of private companies.

Privatisation is not a result of the new contract, it is a clear result of central government policy, influence and direction.

I do not feel betrayed by the BMA leadership, but I am very angry with a government which has wasted an opportunity to deliver real improvement in public services and placed the future of these services in a very precarious position.

Dr Sean Young, Pontycymmer, Bridgend, Wales.

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