LMCs Conference - Buckman tells government to work with GPs

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman has challenged the government to work with GPs and not against them.

Dr Laurence Buckman
Dr Laurence Buckman

Addressing the Conference of Local Medical Committees (LMCs), Dr Buckman highlighted the vilification that MPs have experienced over expenses and compared it with the vilification of GPs orchestrated last year.

‘Why don't you just work with us?' Dr Buckman pleaded. And he admitted: ‘We're still willing to help get the NHS ready for the financially hard times ahead.'

He said GPs are striving to ‘take the politics out of our NHS'. And he challenged the government to ‘think carefully before doing anything else to destabilise our practices.'

Dr Buckman's second address to LMCs as GPC chairman stressed the role of the GP as patient advocate and provider of quality care. He fiercely attacked privatisation of the NHS: ‘I am not a provider,' said Dr Buckman. ‘I am (my patients') GP and proud of it.'

Dr Buckman launched a bitter attack on the £8m government patient survey, describing it as ‘rubbish'.

The GPC is launching its own patient responsiveness guide, which it hopes will measure the quality of patient experience.

He also attacked those London PCTs that are not supporting practices making major losses due to adjustments to QOF prevalence and the delayed guidance for last year's clinical DESs. He insisted that the GPC will hold the government to its pledge to carry over unused DES funding.

But Dr Buckman did point to the year's successes - the 0.7% pay rise for most GPs, seeing off local QOFs and the threat to dispensing GPs.

This was a lack-lustre, workaday address from a normally ebullient GP leader. GPs responded to its lack of tone by awarding the chairman of their craft representative body just over a minute of standing ovation - more than 30 seconds down on last year.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com

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