Unprecedented – BMA crisis meeting called

Alex Matthews-King reports for Pulse Magazine reports 20th November 2015: GPC turns up pressure on Jeremy Hunt with ‘unprecedented’ LMC crisis meeting

The GPC will call an extraordinary meeting of LMC representatives to determine what action is required to maintain a safe and sustainable general practice, after a groundswell of pressure from grassroots GPs.

The ’unprecedented’ move was voted in unanimously at the GPC meeting yesterday, after LMCs continually raised their members’ concerns about the crisis in general practice.

Pulse understands the conference will be used to discuss the future of the GMS contract.

GPs have long been warning about the workload pressures and workforce crisis that is ongoing, and the GPC said that this is endangering patient care.

The GPC unanimously passed a motion that read: ’That, in the light of concerns about the crisis in general practice expressed by LMCs responding to their members’ concerns, the GPC is calling a Special Conference of Representatives of LMCs in the new year to decide what actions are needed to ensure GPs can deliver a safe and sustainable service.’

GPC education, training and workforce subcommittee chair Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said on twitter: ’Unprecedented move from TheBMA – GPC ups the ante to get the government to back general practice.’

And chair of Londonwide LMCs Dr Michelle Drage said in her message to members that the calls came from across the profession and the conference would ’discuss the crisis of resources and morale hitting general practice happening right now’.

She added: ’Members unanimously agreed to call a Special Conference of LMCs early in the new year to decide what actions to take to protect the future of the profession. This is a very significant move and a very significant opportunity for younger GPs to get involved and have your voice heard.’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said this was a critical time for general practice and that these discussions couldn’t wait until next summer’s annual meeting and another round of political pledges.

He also said that the huge mandate for action from the junior doctors’ strike showed that NHS staff wouldn’t tolerate working conditions that were unsafe for patients or staff.

The GPC chair added: ’General practice is at a critical juncture. The BMA and LMCs have decided to hold a special conference to bring together grassroots GPs to discuss how this crisis can be addressed, in order to have a safe and sustainable service. Further news about the conference will be announced in due course.’

GPC IT subcommittee deputy chair Dr Grant Ingrams told Pulse that the conference would be more than just a talking shop, adding ’the only point for a special conference is to try and come out with solutions. There’s no point having it if it’s just going to be a whinge’.

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About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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