GPC England contract negotiations
GPC England met again yesterday following further contract negotiations with NHS England and NHS Improvement. The committee voted on and agreed to accept the changes to the GP contract for 2020-21, including funding to attract more doctors to take up partnership roles and expand the practice team seeing patients in surgeries. The main changes are:
CCGs will be expected to provide LMCs with an annual report to enable them to monitor local investment in general practice. There is also reference to the important role of LMCs throughout the agreement document.
We will be planning a number of GPCE roadshows to outline the agreement, and the details of the contract agreement will also be discussed at the PCN conference tomorrow.
Following the announcement, I said "After months of challenging and tough negotiations we’re pleased to have secured this package of changes that have the potential to make a real difference to GPs, the practices they work in and the patients they treat. The significant investment in and focus on recruitment and retention, including payments to incentivise doctors to take up partnership roles and work in under-doctored areas, is a vote of confidence in the partnership model and a much-needed first step if we are to reverse the worrying trend of falling GP numbers that we have seen in recent years." Read my full statement here
There will now be a special conference of English LMCs to discuss the outcome of negotiations and the contract agreement. The date will be confirmed shortly.
PCN conference 2020
The PCN conference will be held in tomorrow, 8 February, in Birmingham. It will provide an opportunity to hear from experts – including the HMRC – network with peers and seek professional advice on HR, insurance and the law. Those attending will also hear about the full details of the agreed contract changes. There are now limited places available. Find out more here
NHSEI operational guidance 2020/21
The annual NHSEI operation guidance has now been published. There's a helpful mention of "funding invested by CCGs during 2019/20 in local service provision which will be duplicated through delivery of the new service requirements in the Primary Care Network Contract DES in 2020/21 should be reinvested within primary medical care."
MDDUS member vote on arrangements for historic liabilities
In September 2019, MDDUS entered into a transaction with DHSC in relation to its GP liabilities in England. It is important that arrangements for the management of existing liabilities remain clear – this was recognised during the contractual negotiations which set up the clinical negligence scheme for GPs (CNSGP). There is therefore acknowledgement from the GPC England that such arrangements are necessary as responsibilities for existing liabilities transfer. Information for MDDUS members is available here
The BMA has launched a survey of members on physician-assisted dying, following a vote at last year’s ARM to do so. Members will be asked whether they believe the BMA should support, oppose, or take a neutral stance on a change in the law to permit doctors to prescribe drugs for eligible patients to end their own life. They will also be asked about a stance to a change in the law to permit doctors to administer drugs with the intention of ending an eligible patient’s life. All BMA members will receive an email (BMAsurvey@kantar.com) from Kantar, the independent research agency, with a link to participate. Find out more at www.bma.org.uk/pad and read the BMA statement here.
The BMA has published a web page highlighting key information and links to official guidance from government agencies on coronavirus, including how to handle queries from patients and how to manage patients who contact or attend GP practices.
We are aware that GP practices in England are being contacted by their CCGs, on behalf of NHSEI requesting information regarding practice preparation for coronavirus. Our advice remains that while there is no obligation to provide this information, unless the Secretary of State issues a direction, we would encourage practices to respond so that NHSEI and Public Health England are aware the national picture for preparations.
We remain in close contact with NHSEI and other stakeholder to ensure that any measures they put in place are supportive and do not place any overly onerous burden on GPs and their patients. Practice should continue to review your business continuity plans, infection prevention and control measures in addition to any
national guidance issued by UK health or public health agencies.
Following the reports of the two confirmed cases in York last week, Peter Holden, BMA's emergency preparedness lead for primary care, was interviewed by BBC Radio Derby (from 1hr20) and BBC Radio York, and I was interviewed on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio York. Peter was also interviewed on LBC on Wednesday 5 February (just after 11.30pm).
GPC Wales update
GPC Wales met last week and discussed the Romney report with small breakout sessions to facilitate a more open and inclusive discussion. All feedback is to be discussed at the Welsh Council sub-group who will take forward as recommendations to UK Council.
Health Inspectorate Wales attended GPCW to present on their draft programme of work and strategic plan for 20/21 with national reviews being carried out on Mental Health Crisis care and Unscheduled care services.
The performance of the unscheduled and urgent care system in Wales was discussed in length. The committee were advised that the Health Minister has established an ambulance ministerial taskforce which will look
at revising measures within the system with proposals for incentives/sanctions moving forward.
GPC UK Regional elections
The following regional reps have been successfully elected uncontested to the GPC UK committee:
Nominations have reopened for the following regions, and will remain open until noon, 21 February.
To submit a nomination please go to: https://elections.bma.org.uk/
Elections will be held for the following regions:
Voting is due to open on 17/02/2020 at noon, reminder emails will be sent nearer the time. To take part in elections you must have a BMA website account. You do not need to be a BMA member to create a BMA website account click here.
If you have any questions about elections please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The BMA’s annual conference for medical academics will be held at BMA House on Friday 15 May 2020. The main theme will be doctors’ well-being. Save the date, express your interest in attending to email@example.com and look out for further information on the BMA website.
Sandy Macara Memorial lecture
The BMA’s Public Health Medicine Committee (PHMC) has held a memorial address to honour the life and work of the former BMA Council Chair Sir Alexander Macara. In the commemoration address in 2013, the PHMC noted that ‘Sir Alexander was an absolutely extraordinary person’ who was deeply committed to the BMA and to Public Health. The event was hosted by Professor Kevin Fenton, PHMC chair, and there were also speeches from the CMO for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton and Professor Ronan Lyons from the Department of Public Health at Swansea University.
See the last GPC bulletin here