LMC Conference 2016: GPs demand 12% share of NHS funding and end to contract cuts

General practice funding should be increased to 12% of the overall NHS budget and funding cuts through PMS reviews and MPIG reforms must be frozen, LMCs have demanded.

Dr Jim Kelly said the GPC's 'Urgent Prescription' was inadequate
Dr Jim Kelly said the GPC's 'Urgent Prescription' was inadequate

GPs backed calls for a 12% share of the NHS budget for the profession - around a 50% increase from current funding levels - after LMC leaders spelled out warnings about the impact of the GP crisis.

LMCs also backed a motion calling for the GPC to produce a 'nationally agreed and costed list of GMS-plus services' - work over and above core services that should attract additional funding.

However, a motion calling for the GPC to negotiate an activity based contract - a measure backed at the special LMCs conference in January - was narrowly rejected.

Kent LMC's Dr Jim Kelly criticised the GPC's Urgent Prescription for General Practice, dismissing it as an inadequate response to the crisis facing the profession.

GP funding cuts

PMS contract reviews and MPIG cuts had hit the profession like a bus, he told the conference.

'Practices have been dropping like dominos,' he said. 'General practice is lying in the road with a limb hanging off after being hit by a bus. What is GPC doing about it? An urgent prescription. No, let’s not do that for the person lying in the road. Let’s give them life support. A tourniquet would help.'

He said the GPC document failed to set out strong enough measures to stop PMS and MPIG cuts, and demanded immediate funding for general practice.

'We need funding now,' he said. 'Anything less than 12% now won’t do. It needs to go into core funding. Attaching workload to payment – that is the only way we are going to future proof this. The [2004 GMS] contract is now unfit for purpose.'

Newcastle and Tyneside LMC's Dr George Rae backed the call for extra funding, but warned against an activity based contract.

GP contract

'I understand why this is being discussed – we are saying we don’t want more unresourced work dumped on general practice.' But he warned that moving to an activity based contract was opening a 'can of worms'.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey also warned against 'salami slicing' GP funding, suggesting it would lead to micromanagement and bureaucracy. '[An activity-based contract] will make CQC visits look like child's play, when you have NHS England counting every little thing you’ve done. Practices want to be left alone and spared upheaval, not radical change. This calls for radical change and practices would not thank us for it.'

LMC also voted in favour of a motion warning that falling resources and rising demand meant patient safety could no longer be guaranteed, and called for the GPC to negotiate with the government to define the scope and contents of the core primary care contract and to reject new work without new funding.

Photo: JH Lancy

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