RCGP urged to argue for new GMS contract repeal

The RCGP should argue for the repealing of the new GMS contract because it enabled private providers to bid to run practices, according to Professor Allyson Pollock.

Allyson Pollock
Allyson Pollock

The controversial head of the Centre for International Public Health at the University of Edinburgh said that firms actually viewed practice bids as loss leaders and they were really aiming to get their hands on the 80 per cent of the NHS budget that PCTs held for commissioning.

Professor Pollack provoked laughter at the RCGP annual conference in Bournemouth on Friday afternoon when she poked fun at Lord Darzi’s no-show the day before with the opening words: ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a video of myself, so you’ll just have to make do with me.’

She said the credit crunch might have given GPs a breathing space as private firms re-assessed their primary care ambitions.

‘If I were the RCGP I would design a new strategy and argue for the repealing of the UK-wide contract because of its commercial aspects. It’s in your hands, you are a formidable force, you can do it.’

However, speaking after Professor Pollack’s warmly received 45-minute keynote speech, Dr John Chisholm, RCGP Council member, former GPC chairman and new GMS contract architect, said the contract should remain intact.

Dr Chisholm said: ‘The new GMS contract should certainly not be repealed. It has led to a lot of positive benefits.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Editor’s blog: Whatever happened to Lord Darzi?

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