Poll to ask GPs whether profession should be salaried

A group of LMCs has launched a survey asking its members whether they want to keep their independent contractor status, after calls from one senior GP for the model to be axed.

Dr Drage: talk of removing independent contractor status 'a distraction'

Londonwide LMCs launched the survey on Thursday after RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada told the college's annual conference last week that GPs should question whether the independent contractor model is fit for the 21st century.

Professor Gerada has been appointed to advise NHS England on the future of primary care in London. She has advocated GPs ‘pooling’ their contracts to form what she has dubbed ‘integrated provider cooperatives’.

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage strongly opposes GPs relinquishing their independent contractor status.

She told GP: ‘It’s a distraction. What we need are solutions to issues on the ground now, not another round of system pontification. We need more partnership opportunities, not fewer.

‘We launched our survey on Thursday following Clare’s final speech as chair of the RCGP because her thinking felt counterintuitive and we wanted to test out the mood of sessional GPs and partners in the Londonwide LMCs area to inform our policy.’

The survey asks GPs whether they want to see ‘independent contractor practices abolished’. It also asks whether independent contractors should be replaced by a salaried GP service and whether there should be a variety of different types of GP provision.

This week NHS England chairman Sir Malcolm Grant ruled out a one-size-fits-all model being imposed on general practice, in response to a wide-ranging consultation on the future of primary care.

Speaking ahead of the completion next month of NHS England’s consultation Improving general practice: a call to action, Sir Malcolm said that plans need to ‘transcend political timelines’ and operate over five- or ten-year terms.

Londonwide LMCs has called for a £1bn funding boost for general practice in the capital, to halt the erosion of services and to ensure patient safety, in its policy blueprint, Securing the Future of General Practice in London, published last month.

The survey closes on Thursday 17 October at 3pm.

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