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14-01-2013 | General practice | Article

BMA surveys GPs over contract


BMA GP Contract Survey

medwireNews: The BMA is surveying GPs about their views on the Government's proposed sweeping changes to the GP contract.

GPs are asked whether the changes mean they will consider leaving the NHS, as well as what actions they believe their practices will need to take to deliver the obligations - in particular, in terms of how they will impact on staffing levels and the services they are able to provide.

In a strongly worded announcement, the BMA makes it clear it believes the Government's proposals amount to imposing "a series of non-negotiated changes", disregarding previous lengthy talks between the BMA and NHS employers.

GPC Chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: "The BMA wants to hear directly from GPs who will have to deal with the implications of these proposed changes on their practice and patients.

"Our research has shown that the average practice could lose £31,000 in funding and face substantial extra demands on workload at time when many are already struggling to cope with years of contracting practice budgets. It is important that we build up a clear picture of how these policies are going to affect the way GP practices are able to deliver services to their local communities."

The BMA will be using the survey responses in its official submission to the Department of Health consultation on the proposals, which is open until 26 February. Further information on the BMA website includes a tool for GPs to calculate the financial impact on their practice (click here).

"It is vital that GPs take this opportunity to have their say and help shape the BMA's response to these proposals that will profoundly affect the future of general practice," said Dr Buckman.

GPs in the devolved nations are also encouraged to get informed about changes to their contracts. BMA Northern Ireland and BMA Wales are currently reviewing proposals from their respective Assemblies, while BMA Scotland has negotiated a separate agreement with the Scottish Government (click here).

medwireNews is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price, Senior medwireNews Reporter