GPC calls end to GP contract ‘tinkering’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has stated it is using the negotiations for the 2016-17 contract to call for a more settled contract that will not be at risk to the DoH’s annual change to GP terms and conditions.

Nagpaul claims such changes are harming general practice and cited Scotland as an example which acknowledged this. He said:

"There is recognition about this in the UK. For instance, in Scotland they didn’t make any changes because they recognised they needed to look for something more sustainable."

In addition, while Nagpaul confirmed negotiations for 2016-17 were continuing as usual, he did not confirm speculation that the government was pressing for seven-day access to be a contractual requirement.

The GPC chair continues to insist his priorities in regard to contract negotiations were maintaining ‘stability’ and to ‘increase core funding in the contract and reduce micro-management’.

The annual round of GP contract negotiations will be affected by the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new voluntary contract starting in September, which will see practices responsible for more than 30,000 patients to providing seven-day services.

Nagpaul said: “There are big issues facing general practice. So while we are having negotiations on 2016/17, we are having dialogue about the bigger issues around workload, recruitment, the implications of local contracts, new models, etc. We have to look at negotiations in a new context.”

He added that the GPC ‘realise that tinkering with the contract each year is adding to GPs work’.

He said: “Discussions on 2016/17 contract negotiations are being had, but that is not the main part of the negotiations.”

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