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by Beth Gault
11 November 2019
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GP leaders in England have called for the BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) to reject the establishment of primary care networks (PCN) and instead develop a new contract.
Local medical committee (LMC) members will vote on a motion at the England LMCs conference on 22 November, on whether to instruct the GPC to develop a new contract that will ‘positively support the current model of English general practice’.
The motion will put forward that PCNs as a model will not result in a reduction in workload, nor assist practices in supporting a growing number of patients with complex health needs.
Put forward by Hillingdon LMCs, the motion has called for GPs to recognise: ‘That conference, with regard to PCNs, has no faith that they will result in a reduction in GP workload.‘
Doesn’t address workforce issues
‘[Conference] is concerned that they do not actually address the issue of the dwindling GP workforce,’ the motion continues.
If the rejection of the model is carried, then representatives will also vote on another statement to ‘guide the GPC executive team’s future strategy’.
The further statement will ask representatives how happy they are with the development of PCNs, ranging from completely happy to completely disbanding the PCN model.
It follows reports that only 15% of GPs would have approved the five-year GP contract if it was put to ballot, according to a BMA survey.
Motion in full
HILLINGDON: That conference, with regard to PCNs:
i. has no faith that they will result in a reduction in GP workload
ii. is concerned that they do not actually address the issue of the dwindling GP workforce
iii. has not seen any evidence that they will assist practices in supporting increasing numbers of patients with increasingly complex health needs
iv. believes they are the building blocks towards integrated care systems, which will be to the detriment of local personal patient care
v. requires GPC England to reject this model in favour of developing a new GP contract that actually positively supports the current model of English general practice.
If part (v) of motion 19 is carried, then the following statement will be voted on by the representatives using a 1-6 button vote. This is to guide the GPC England executive team’s future strategy. No requests to speak for or against this statement will be considered by the Chair.
1. I am completely happy with the development of PCNs as a means to sustain general practice.
2. I am happy with the development of PCNs but would also like other ways of sustaining general practice to be explored.
3. I am content with the development of PCNs but feel that other options should also be actively pursued to sustain general practice.
4. I am not happy with PCNs but feel too much work has been committed to these to change the direction of travel.
5. I am not happy with PCNs and would like to see a pause in developments in order to evaluate their efficacy in sustaining general practice.
6. I would like to see PCNs completely disbanded and a new GP contract negotiated for 2020/21 as a matter of priority.