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GPC England's LMC Update: 14 April 2023

GP contract changes guidance

Following the announcement of the GP contract changes for 2023/24, which were imposed on 1 April, we have updated our guidance explaining what it means for practices. The changes are in the following areas:


  • Prospective record access

  • Cloud-based telephony

  • Removal of reference to medical cards in the patient registration provisions

  • General practice pay declaration guidance

Note that the changes on ‘access to general practice services’ have not been laid before Parliament yet and ICBs will therefore not have sent contract variations to practices. This means the changes have not yet come into effect. We will share further information on this imposed contractual change as soon as it is available.

We need practices’ feedback – evidence of the negative impact of imposed 23/24 contract changes

In our regular engagement sessions with LMCs, we are already hearing of issues relating to unresourced increased costs for practices, e.g. relating to cloud-based telephony. We need to hear about these issues so they can be collated and shared with the DHSC and NHS England as a body of evidence against their ill-advised imposed changes. Please email your evidence, as well as any other feedback you may have, to feedback.gpcontractimposition@bma.org.uk

Read more about the 2023/24 GP contract changes on the BMA website

Wellbeing and stress awareness month

The contractual changes imposed by NHS England on 1 April do nothing to recognise the pressures that GPs are under and was a failed opportunity by the Government to support GPs, their practices, staff and patients. April is stress awareness Month, and we have been working hard to highlight the stress GPs face to the public. You can read our chair's response to this heartfelt blog from an anonymous GP in The Guardian, and a similar letter was also published in The Times.

GPs are being forced into a position where they worry about the care their patients are getting, which adds to their stress. The recent study on the impact of COVID-19 on GP wellbeing showed that the pressures GPs faced during the pandemic have had a negative effect on their wellbeing. The study also highlighted that if GPs continue to face stress and burnout, more GPs could leave the profession, threatening patient care and the need to focus on supporting GPs to prevent this and to improve their working lives.

UEMO’s response to the recent WHO Bucharest declaration the health and care workforce on what is needed to help health services meet demand, also highlights the importance of properly resourced and supported primary care for continuity of care and improved health outcomes. The present crisis is severe that we recommend all GP practices to take some time to meet to reflect on their wellbeing and what they can do to protect it during Stress Awareness month.

To help manage your stress, we encourage you to use the new QOF targets in the GP contract to do your quality improvement project on staff wellbeing. We have put together a document which can help guide and inform your project, which includes some tangible recommendations and tools for improving workload and safe working.

We would encourage practices to continue to use our safe working guidance to enable them to prioritise safe patient care, within the present bounds of the GMS contract.

Wellbeing resources

Self-care is more important than ever for the demoralised and over worked GP profession. If you are feeling under strain the BMA can help, read an account on how the BMA supported an overworked doctor and find out how the BMA can support you during #StressAwarenessMonth.

A range of wellbeing and support services are available to doctors, from our 24/7 confidential counselling and peer support services to networking groups and wellbeing hubs with peers, as well as the NHS practitioner health service and non-medical support services such as Samaritans.

The organisation Doctors in Distress also provides mental health support for health workers in the UK, providing confidential peer support group sessions.

Please visit the BMA’s wellbeing support services page for further information and resources.

GP workload management and triage toolkit

As there is currently no standardised triage system for GP practices, to help with the increasing workload, the BMA have developed a tool to support practices with implementing a triage system if they wish to do so.

The toolkit aims to provide a cost neutral aid to reduce the administrative burden on staff members, ensure patients are seen by the right clinician at the right time and allow GPs to spend their time where it is needed the most. This toolkit will not apply to all practices, but we have provided a number of case studies, along with examples of how you can tailor the system to your practice.

Exploring safe working in general practice: how we triage

With the news that the impending contract imposition is going to require us to assess the need for every contact made each day, triage systems are going to become increasingly important. It’s not yet clear if this requirement is even achievable for us, but we also know that GPs will be faced with patients armed with the news of this change, so the tide is coming. Read the blog by GPC member James Booth.

Junior doctors' and GP trainees strike action

Junior doctors (including GP trainees) are taking industrial action this week after the Secretary of State failed to make any credible offer and we’d like to thank practices for your solidarity with GP trainees and junior doctors. 98% of junior doctors voted in favour of strike action and which gave us a huge mandate, and puts the government under intense pressure. This is a step in the right direction for full pay restoration not just for junior doctors, but the whole profession.

GP trainees have the full support of general practice and the wider profession during the strike action.

Watch David Wrigley, GPC England Deputy Chair, and Dave Smith, Chair of the GP Trainees Committee, explain more in this video: https://twitter.com/BMA_GP/status/1634235363156738052

See more on the strike action on GP trainees twitter https://twitter.com/BMAGPtrainees

Ahead of the strikes we published guidance for practices how to manage the impact of strikes.

Nominations open for seats on the GPs committee via the LMC UK conference

Every year the LMC UK conference elects seven members to the UK GPs committee. Any BMA GP member is eligible to stand.

The deadline for nominations is 12pm, 11 May. Following the close of nominations, voting will take place during the conference from 5pm, 18 May to 3.30pm, 19 May.

Please note that voting is only open to conference delegates.

Successful candidates will take their seats at the start of the next session after ARM in July. Submit your nomination

For more information, please contact the BMA’s elections team at elections@bma.org.uk

Read more about the work of the Committee

Read practical guidance for GP practices

See the latest update on Twitter: @BMA_GP / Twitter @TheBMA / Twitter


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