LMCs to demand public warning over 'mounting threat to general practice'

Anger that governments across the UK are not doing enough to tackle pressure on general practice will dominate next month's UK LMCs conference, the BMA's top GP has warned.

  • Doctors Net

GPs at the conference in Liverpool on 9 March will debate calls for incentives to encourage GPs into partnership roles, financial support to widen practice teams and more work to 'make the public aware of the mounting threat to the system of general practice' amid record numbers of practice closures.

LMCs will also debate calls to look at how parts of the Scottish GP contract deal agreed earlier this year could be 'incorporated into English contract negotiations'. GPonline reported this month that that will reduce partners' responsibility for premises.

The conference will also debate calls to 'demand a stop to the undermining of general practice by allowing private companies to cherry pick patients', following the rollout of the , most of them aged between 20 and 39 years old.

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A themed debate at the conference will focus on workload, with discussions to include calls for a 13-consultation per session cap on GP workload in 2018, falling to nine per session in 2020. The GPC is due to publish guidance soon on managing GP workload, but looks unlikely to demand a specific cap - GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey has previously told GPonline that he believes any limit would have to be flexible.

Asked what he thought would dominate the conference this year, Dr Vautrey said: 'I think GPs gathering at the conference will be frustrated that the evidence of workload pressures that is all too evident in practices around the country and which is having a material impact on recruitment and retention - and ultimately patient care - is not yet being acted on with sufficient vigour by governments around the UK.

GP workload

'The fact that so many motions have been submitted about workload pressures is a sign of this.'

GPonline reported exclusively this week that three quarters of GP partners said their practice struggled to cope this winter as flu and the impact of cancelled elective care in hospitals added to existing seasonal pressure and high workload.

Meanwhile, - set up to support GPs facing issues such as burnout, stress and addiction - in its first 12 months in operation.

Numbers of with 2,000 fewer in partnership roles in September 2017 compared with two years earlier.

A DH spokesman said this week: 'We know GPs are busy – that’s why we are committed to an extra 5,000 doctors in general practice by 2020 — supported by investment of an extra £2.4bn a year to improve care and deliver better patient access.'

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