Skip to main content

GP contract changes will undermine delivery of patient services, warns BMA


The government’s failure to listen to the concerns of thousands of family doctors about changes to the GP contract in England will undermine how patient services are delivered, the BMA warned today (Monday, 18 March 2013).

The warning came as the Department of Health confirmed a raft of changes to the GP contract in England that will come into force on 1 April 2013. The government’s proposals will see general practice facing a range of new targets and additional workload responsibilities, as well as reductions in the central funding that many practices receive.

These changes are being implemented despite thousands of GPs expressing concerns about the proposals in a BMA survey that was submitted, along with other evidence, to the government’s consultation on the changes1.

Dr Laurence Buckman, Chair of the BMA’s GP committee said:

“GPs are committed to working with patients and the government to deliver the highest quality of care to the public.

“However, ministers have completely failed to take on board the concerns of thousands of GPs about the cumulative impact of these proposals on general practice. Practices will face numerous new targets that will divert valuable clinical time and resources towards box ticking and administrative work.

“The decision to make changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) from 2014/15 and other funding areas will make it more difficult for practices to maintain services. This comes at a time when many practices are already struggling to cope under the pressure of rising workload and shrinking resources.

“A BMA survey that drew nearly 8,000 responses demonstrated that the impact of these changes would result in GPs considering reducing patient access and staffing hours.

“Last year, the BMA and NHS Employers came close to agreeing a tough, but fair package of changes that would have resulted in real improvements for patients. These talks were ended when the government decided to pull the plug and threaten to impose their own proposals. This has been followed by a total failure to listen to grassroots GPs during the recent consultation.

“It is unacceptable that the government has ignored this weight of opinion and ploughed ahead with so many ill thought out proposals that run the risk of destabilising patient care.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Mr Duncan-Smith offers a disingenuous and divisive comparison

Some time ago, actually it was a long time ago when I was in my early teens, someone close to me bought a table. It was an early flat pack variety. It came with a top and four legs. He followed the instructions to the letter screwing the legs into the top. But when he had completed it the table wobbled. One leg he explained was shorter than the other three; so he sawed a bit from each of the other legs. The table wobbled. One leg, he explained, was longer than the other three. So, he sawed a bit off. The table wobbled. He went on cutting the legs, but the table continued to wobble. Cut, cut, cut! By this time he had convinced himself there was no alternative to it.  He ended up with a very low table indeed, supported by four very stumpy legs and a bit of cardboard placed under one of them to stop it wobbling on the uneven floor.  Mr Duncan-Smith argues that we need a 1% cap on benefits to be 'fair to average earners'. Average  earners have seen their incomes rise by less tha

His way or none? Why I can't vote for Jeremy

There is an assumption that all would be well with the Labour Party if people hadn't expressed their genuine concern with what they consider the inadequacies of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. If only, it is said, the Parliamentary Labour Party and his Shadow Cabinet had supported him, instead of undermining him, all would have been fine. If they had been quiet and towed the line, then the party would not have been in the mess it is in. So, should they have stayed silent, or speak of their concerns? There comes a point when the cost of staying silent outweighs the cost of speaking out. This is a judgment. Many call it a coup by the PLP. They paint a picture of a right-wing PLP out of touch with the membership.  This is the narrative of the Corbyn camp. But Jeremy Corbyn, over the decades he has been in politics, showed the way.  It was Jeremy Corbyn who opposed almost all Labour leaders and rarely held back from speaking out, or voting time and again against the party line. As