LMCs have 'no faith' that PCNs can reduce soaring practice workload

LMC leaders have 'no faith' that primary care networks (PCNs) will reduce GP workload or tackle soaring workload in primary care.

Doctors' leaders backed a motion at the 2019 England LMCs conference in London warning that they would not reduce GP workload, would not address the workforce crisis and had not seen 'any evidence that they will assist practices in supporting increasing numbers of patients with increasingly complex health needs'.

The vote suggests that almost five months after PCNs went live across England - with 99% of GP practices now members of one of the organisations - senior GPs remain unconvinced about the impact they will have.

Hillingdon GP Dr Sujata Chadha told the conference that she believed the GP contract and the network DES had been 'negotiated in good faith' by the BMA's GP committee - but that PCNs had become a 'dumping ground' for additional work.

Financial risk

Dr Chadha warned: 'We are facing increased financial risk, more unresourced work and this ultimately threatens our sustainability.'

Dr Simeon Rackham, from Derbyshire LMC, warned that the 'entire process of developing PCNs' had been 'poorly supported and not thought through' - and said their rollout had removed 'countless clinicians from frontline care'.

Kent GP Dr Zishan Syed warned that PCNs were a 'Trojan Horse' for herding GP practices into 'bite-sized chunks' for private providers to take over.

Dorset GP Dr David Haines, however, warned that general practice needed to make the best of PCNs as they were, warning that 'if we take a negative view we are dead in the water'.

Primary care networks

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey also warned that PCNs needed more time in many areas to have an impact on workload - but said in some areas pharmacists and physios hired to support GPs had made a huge difference.

Despite strong votes expressing concern over PCNs' ability to limit GP workload, a part of the motion warning that PCNs were 'building blocks towards integrated care systems which will be to the detriment of local personal patient care' was narrowly rejected.

LMC representatives also rejected a call for the GPC to negotiate an alternative.

GPonline reported earlier this year that two thirds of GP partners were not convinced that PCNs would help to reduce workload.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Hand PCNs control of primary care infrastructure funding, says RCGP

CCG funding for primary care infrastructure should be handed to PCNs when the bodies...

Professor Martin Marshall and Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Talking General Practice speaks to RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul

In-house review not enough to stop 'unjust' GMC referrals, warns BMA

Doctors' leaders have repeated calls for a full independent review of the GMC referral...

Coronavirus

How widespread is long COVID in the UK?

Millions of people in the UK are living with long COVID. GPonline looks at the data...

COVID-19 vaccination sign

GP contract for autumn COVID-19 booster campaign due shortly

GP practices in England will be invited shortly to sign up for the COVID-19 autumn...