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BMA advises practices ‘not to engage’ with NHSE access plan

by Costanza Pearce
20 October 2021

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The BMA’s GP Committee has advised GPs ‘not to engage’ with NHS England’s access plan.

In an email sent to practices today and seen by Management in Practice‘s sister title Pulse, GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said that ‘at this time, we would advise GPs and practices not to engage in this punitive and damaging plan’.

GPC England is due to have an ’emergency meeting’ on Thursday to discuss its ‘next actions’, he added.

The BMA ‘will issue a further update and guidance for GPs and practices following that’, Dr Vautrey said.

It comes as the BMA has revealed that more than half of GPs would consider leaving the NHS if the Government does not provide them with the support they need, according to a survey conducted before the NHS England package was announced.

A separate BMA ‘snap poll’ conducted after the support package was released, found that 93% of GPs said the package is an ‘unacceptable response’ to the crisis.

Dr Vautrey thanked the almost 3,500 GPs in England who responded to the poll within 48 hours.

Announcing the results earlier, he said they showed that ‘the profession has out and out rejected this shambles of a plan from the Government and NHS England’.

One LMC has already advised local practices ‘not to participate in any aspect’ of NHS England’s measures to improve access to general practice.

The GP ‘support’ package and its measures to improve access were met with fierce criticism from GPs, practices and their leaders.

Last week, practice managers criticised NHS England’s plan to increase the number of telephone lines per practice in a bid to improve access to general practice, saying it will not create more appointments for patients.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt also said the recovery fund would not ‘turn the tide’ and will do little to increase the number of GPs in the system, or the number of appointments offered.

This article was initially published on our sister title Pulse.