LMCs reject claims GPC has 'lost faith of profession'

LMC leaders voted against a motion claiming the GPC had lost the faith of the profession after GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman launched an angry defence of his negotiating team.

Dr Buckman defended GPC negotiators
Dr Buckman defended GPC negotiators

Kingston and Richmond LMC's Dr Richard van Mellaerts told the conference that GPC negotiators' efforts had had 'very little' impact on reforms and contract changes the government planned to impose.

He hit out at GPC negotiators who seemed 'disengaged' from the concerns of frontline GPs, and said if the professions elected leaders did not do more to defend it, general practice would be 'dead in the water'.

'If you don't think you can play poker when the other side hold all the cards, you're playing the wrong game,' he said. Dr van Mellaerts went on to accuse the BMA of calling a strike 'on the wrong issue' over pensions.

But GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said he found the suggestion he was disengaged 'personally insulting'. He said the government had imposed GP contract changes that bore little resemblance to discussions with NHS Employers, and had left the GPC with few options.

He added: 'The GPC made clear from the start of negotiations that general practice was unable to take on more work.'

He had been saddened and angered to see the government impose changes that had led to a sharp rise in GP workload.

A handful of LMC delegates backed the motion, which said 'the GPC and its negotiators have lost the faith of the profession' after pensions and contract changes.

But the vast majority of LMC leaders backed the GPC.

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