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GPC England's LMC Update: 23 February 2024

GP SOS - Save Our Surgeries

 

Have your say on the 2024/25 GP contract changes – join the BMA and update your details now

 

Following the unanimous rejection by GPC England of the contract offer on the table from government, GPCE’s officer team have reopened talks about the GMS contract changes for April 2024 onwards, giving the Government until the end of the month to present significant improvements. A letter has also been sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, outlining the perilous state of general practice and reminding him of his supportive words when he was chair of the Health & Social Care Select Committee. We are now waiting to hear back from NHSE and DHSC.

 

Whatever is on the table at that point will be put to you, as BMA members, via a referendum in March. This won’t stop the Government from imposing the contract changes, but it will give us a vital insight into how the profession feels about the contract, and where we go next. We know you need hope, stability and safety in your day to day-to-day work and in your surgeries and this is the message we give to government frequently and will continue to do so.

 

You need to be a BMA member to have your say in the referendum. This means making sure your details are up to date, and spreading the word to friends and colleagues about joining the BMA. We plan to open the referendum in early March, so do keep an eye on your email for the voting link. The email will be from Civica, which is handling the referendum on the BMA’s behalf.

 

To find out more about the current contract changes and why GPC England requested further changes, click here. I would urge you to watch and distribute the excellent video from Katie, our chair, explaining the perilous situation we face – you can find the video here.

 

General practice is in crisis. These figures are very revealing…

  • 1.9% (£178m) - national GP contract uplift for 2024/25 on offer from Government

  • £800m – value lost from the contract since 2019 due to cost inflation

  • 31% - average drop in GP contractor earnings before tax for 2022/23 compared with the previous year

  • 1,900 - fewer full time, qualified GPs since September 2015 when….

  • 6,000 - additional GPs were promised by this government in 2019

  • 1.39 million - average daily appointments delivered in general practice across England

  • 6.25 million - extra NHS general practice patients in Jan 2024 compared to 2015

  • £107 – practice payment per patient per year (excluding PCN and COVID payments)

  • 5-6% - of the overall NHS budget spent on general practice-level contracts in England in 2022/23 (latest data)

  • £0 – this is the deficit accrued by GP surgeries in 2023/24. We are a very efficient part of the NHS trying to cope with limited resources

 

LMC guidance on IA

 

The team have updated our advice around what LMCs can legally do in times of industrial action and also in preparation for potential action. The advice does not discuss types of industrial action or timings as this will be discussed as progress is made. (see attachment – February 2024 - Advice to LMCs regarding preparatory activity relating to industrial action)

 

Workforce data

 

 

We urge practices to continue to use our safe working guidance to limit contacts to 25 per day in order to prioritise safe patient care, within the present bounds of the GMS contract.

 

Cloud based telephony


GPCE has written to NHSE to raise concerns over the rollout of CBT (cloud-based telephony) and the financial and workload impact this is having on practices along with pressure to sign complex contracts on very short deadlines. NHSE advised last year that there would be no increased costs to practices for their monthly contracts. We have relayed concerns raised about these issues and are seeking an urgent meeting with NHSE while calling for a pause of the roll-out of this contract mandated procurement exercise.

 

We want to hear if you are seeing increased costs and please do email info.gpc@bma.org.uk with details of what you pay now and what you are being asked to pay going forward with the telephony provider.

 

GPs have been pressured at the last minute to sign up to new telephony systems at huge extra cost – despite reassurances from NHS England this would not be the case. Deputy chair Dr David Wrigley thinks this is a huge mistake and has called for an immediate pause, read more here.

 

Measles outbreak – practice staff and MMR vaccinations

 

This is an issue we are all facing in our practices, and we have been doing searches for patients who need vaccinating. We have written to NHSE asking for funding to do this additional work and pressed for negligence scheme cover. We can now advise that cover is in place and is outlined in the message below.

 

On behalf of Jane Freeguard, deputy Director of vaccination – medicines & pharmacy

 

In light of the national measles outbreak and urgency to support rapid uptake of the MMR vaccine, we are permitting practices to administer MMR vaccines to their eligible staff who are registered with another practice under INT (immediately necessary treatment). Please note this is a time limited arrangement until 31 March 2024 in light of the on-going national incident and only applies to MMR vaccinations.  

 

An item of service fee cannot be claimed for the administration of MMR vaccines to staff registered with another practice. However, indemnity cover will be provided through CNSGP and nationally supplied MMR stock can be used to vaccinate eligible staff. Staff must be strongly encouraged to inform their registered practice that they have received an MMR vaccine, requesting it be included in their medical record.

 

UK LMC Conference 2024 - deadlines


The deadline for submitting motions for the UK LMC Conference is noon, 1 March 2024 - submit your motions here. The deadline for registration is 1 May 2024.  Please note that even if you've booked your hotel you will still need to register for the conference here - although booking the hotel does not mean you are registered for conference.

 

For any questions, please email info.lmcconference@bma.org.uk.

 

GPC UK Regional Elections


Nominations are now open for seats to the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) UK in the following regions:

 

·       Norfolk/Suffolk/Great Yarmouth & Waveney

·       Enfield & Haringey/Camden & Islington/Barnet/Kensington & Chelsea/Westminster

·       Merton, Sutton & Wandsworth/Kingston & Richmond

·       Sefton/Liverpool/Wirral

·       Salford & Trafford/Manchester/Stockport

·       Durham/Cleveland

·       Somerset/N & E Devon

·       E Sussex/W Sussex

·       Derbys/Notts

·       Herefordshire/Worcs/Warks/Coventry

·       Birmingham/Solihull

·       Forth Valley/Fife/Lothian/Tayside

·       Gwent/Bro Taf/Morgannwg

·       Grampian/Highland/Orkney/Shetland/Western Isles

·       Northern Ireland

 

To be eligible to stand in a constituency, you must be a BMA member and one of the following:

·       a GP engaged in providing NHS primary medical services for a minimum of 52 sessions distributed evenly over six months in the year immediately before election

·       a GP on the doctors’ retainer scheme

·       a medically qualified LMC secretary

 

To submit your nomination for any of the above seats please visit https://elections.bma.org.uk/ by the deadline 12pm, 4 March 2024. For any questions relating to the role or GPC please contact info.gpc@bma.org.uk and for any queries regarding the election process elections@bma.org.uk

 

Updating LMC contact details


A reminder for LMCs when updating any contact details, or any changes to personnel, to please email Karen Day kday@bma.org.uk.

 

GPC England committee pages and guidance for practices


Read more about the work of GPCE and practical guidance for GP practices. See the latest update on X @BMA_GPand read about BMA in the media. Contact us: info.GPC@bma.org.uk

 

Read the latest GPC England bulletin

 

Dr David Wrigley

GPC England Deputy Chair

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