Single contract must be permanent and UK-wide, GPs demand

The new single GP contract proposed by the government must be a permanent contract and cover all four UK nations, GPs have demanded.

Dr Alan Mills drew applause from delegates when he said the ‘last thing’ GPs want to see is a ‘renewal date on the GP contract’.
Dr Alan Mills drew applause from delegates when he said the ‘last thing’ GPs want to see is a ‘renewal date on the GP contract’.

The demand follows suggestions that the GP contract could become time-limited APMS-style deals open to private providers

Dr Alan Mills, a member of Cambridge LMCs, drew applause from delegates at the 2011 LMCs conference when he said the ‘last thing’ GPs want to see is a ‘renewal date on the GP contract’.

He said funding was ‘bad enough’ without the added difficulty of 'telling the bank your contract will expire in a few months'.

Dr Arnie McDowell, a member of Northern Ireland’s Southern LMC, also called for the new single contract to cover all four UK nations.

He said that despite political differences across the UK, the core values of general practice were shared across all four nations.

Calls were also made for seniority payment and MPIG to be protected in the move to a single contract, but they were not backed by all delegates.

Dr Paul Roblin, chairman of Oxfordshire LMC, said he found it difficult to understand why length of service results in extra income through the seniority payment irrespective of ‘demonstrable workload burden’.

He said: ‘Young GPs may see an unfairness in seniority payments. If you ring-fence money for seniority payments then the rest of the pot becomes smaller.

‘I would like to see the total pot of money currently allocated to seniority payments go back into the general pot, with practices deciding how to distribute it internally.’

But GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey warned that if you unpick seniority payments then there is a risk the money will be lost altogether.

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