NHS England official says collaboration can solve GP crisis as BMA ballot begins

Greater collaboration is the only solution to the challenges facing general practice, NHS England's new medical director for primary care in London has said in response to a GP ballot on industrial action.

NHS England London medical director for primary care Dr Jonty Heaversedge
NHS England London medical director for primary care Dr Jonty Heaversedge

South London GP Dr Jonty Heaversedge told GPonline that while he understood the pressures GPs voting on proposals for a co-ordinated list closure feel, the solution was to focus on the collaborative transformation of services as set out in the GP Forward View.

Dr Heaversedge, also chair of Southwark CCG, will take up the role in NHS England's London region next month. In the new position he will provide clinical leadership for primary care and digital transformation.

Speaking exclusively to GPonline before starting his new job, Dr Heaversedge said he would not use his position to try to persuade GPs of anything ‘other than the fact that ballot or no ballot, I think the solution for us for our future lies in much greater collaboration’.

Electronic voting details were sent to practices in England on Monday for the BMA indicative ballot and partnerships have a month to agree a position on whether they would be prepared temporarily to suspend new patient registrations or apply for formal list closure as a form of industrial action.

GP industrial action

The decision to ballot was agreed by LMC representatives at their annual conference in Edinburgh in May in response to what they said was the failure of NHS England’s GP Forward View to deliver resources to sustain the service.

Dr Heaversedge said he was aware of the concerns of fellow GPs, including increasing demand, complexity, and inappropriate workload and that the solution to those problems was in the collaborative transformation being promoted by NHS England.

‘I know that it's always going to be a difficult conversation when people are just so overwhelmed a lot of the time by the work that is coming through the door. But one of the tasks that I have I think is to help people to see that the solution to that has to lie in doing things differently.’

The GP said that whatever happens with the industrial action ballot, the solution would be greater collaboration. ‘What I don't want us to do as a profession is to sort of batten down the hatches and just try to cut our cloth,' he said.

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

Wide-ranging overhaul of GP bureaucracy promised amid spiralling practice workload

Wide-ranging overhaul of GP bureaucracy promised amid spiralling practice workload

Revalidation, referral processes, coding of patient data and letters required from...

Recognising and referring domestic violence and abuse

Recognising and referring domestic violence and abuse

A social enterprise is helping to train staff in GP practices to support women affected...

GPs 'in the dark' over pension tax trap support for this year

GPs 'in the dark' over pension tax trap support for this year

GPs remain in the dark over how a stop-gap offer from NHS England to pay off pension...

Network DES will cost GPs money and threaten independent contractor status, warn LMCs

Network DES will cost GPs money and threaten independent contractor status, warn LMCs

A group of LMCs has warned it 'cannot recommend' GPs sign up to revised plans for...

'A Hard Day's Night': a GP's musical reaction to the updated contract

'A Hard Day's Night': a GP's musical reaction to the updated contract

The life of a GP can be incredibly busy, but that hasn't stopped one talented doctor...

Viewpoint: Revamped 2020 contract 'a watershed moment for general practice'

Viewpoint: Revamped 2020 contract 'a watershed moment for general practice'

Following weeks of uncertainty over the future of primary care networks (PCNs), reworked...