Mass GP resignations 'likely' as union urges LMCs to back crisis conference vote

GPs are ready to back calls for the profession to resign en masse from practice contracts at this weekend's special LMCs conference, union leaders say.

GPC Unite representative Dr Jackie Applebee
GPC Unite representative Dr Jackie Applebee

Doctors from the Unite union said mass resignation was 'on the cards' as GPs faced a crisis driven by a recruitment crisis, soaring workload and falling income.

East London GP Dr Jackie Applebee, Unite representative on the GPC, urged the 400 GPs who will debate the crisis facing the profession on Saturday at a special LMCs conference in London, to back a motion calling for GPs to hand in undated resignation letters.

The union is also urging GPs to support a motion calling for the GPC to explore moving away from the practice-based contract model to a salaried GP service.

Special LMCs conference

Dr Applebee said: 'The time has come for GPs to put themselves in a position to defend their jobs and the NHS service they provide.

'They are hamstrung as "independent contractors" as the government just imposes changes to their contract. At least, by being a salaried employee under an NHS contract - as the junior doctors have shown - you can take on a government acting against the interests of patient safety against a background of a deteriorating service.

'It is the only way open to conference to show the strength of feeling among GPs and to express its exasperation with a government reducing the budget for general practice, rather than facing the message that the NHS needs a funding boost to tackle the list of issues facing GPs and their patients.'

Chair of Doctors in Unite Dr Ron Singer, said: 'It is true that you have to wait too long for a GP appointment these days. This is now crunch time for the GP profession being confronted with a large hike in workloads, the recruitment crisis in developing the next generation of GPs and the current inability to obtain sufficient locum cover.

'Mass resignations of GPs are on the cards, if the government does not  heed the strong messages coming from Saturday’s conference.'

Click here for full GPonline special LMCs conference coverage

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