Have your say on the future of general practice - COMPLETE OUR SURVEY
We are at a pivotal point for the profession. We are all struggling with workload pressures and have inadequate resources to run our practices and deal with our patients. Over 7 million patients are now on waiting lists which were huge even before the pandemic hit us. That has a knock-on impact for our working day as patients seek our help as they wait longer and longer for treatment. The funding we receive in general practice is wholly inadequate at around 8% of the NHS budget. We need much more investment and will continue to push for this.
We are currently engaged in discussions with NHSE and DHSC about our contractual changes for April 2024 and have our minds set on the bigger picture of what comes after that for the profession. With a General Election getting even closer we are meeting with opposition politicians to outline what we need in general practice to make our service fit for the future.
This is why we want to give you a voice. We have put together a profession wide survey which will inform the work ahead of us and tell us what you need as GPs for the coming years. Your views are vital and will be used to inform our work going forwards. You don’t need to be a BMA member to complete the survey.
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THE LINK & COMPLETE OUR SURVEY – https://www.research.net/r/bmagp23
If you only respond to one survey, make it this one.
We want to hear from all fully qualified GPs in England, including GP Registrars at ST3 and above, whether you’re a BMA member or not.
The survey will close on Sunday 21 January 2024 but please complete it as soon as you can.
Share the survey via WhatsApp with ALL your GP colleagues: https://tinyurl.com/GPSurveyShare
GP finance survey
With the 2024/25 negotiations ongoing – we are asking all practice managers in England to complete the GPC England’s finance survey. You will have seen our survey on the future of general practice, above; now this is your opportunity to demonstrate the increasing impact of inflation and rising costs on English GP practices over the past 12 months. It’s vital for us to hear about the challenges you face with practice finances and what we all need to help support the service we provide.
You will need the practice’s set of GP accounts for 2021/22 and 2022/23, as well as expenditure data for the months of October 2022 and October 2023 together with information on how many staff the practice employs. The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete and closes midnight, 3 January 2024. Please send any other feedback firstname.lastname@example.org
We urge practices to continue to use our safe working guidance to limit contacts to 25 per day in order to prioritise safe patient care, within the present bounds of the GMS contract.
There are still widespread concerns with the manner and speed with which NHS England have attempted to push Inclisiran, which is a black triangle injectable drug. There are still a number of questions, raised by both GPCE and the RCGP, on which NHS England has yet to provide a satisfactory response, and this was set out in our joint position statement with the RCGP.
We would like to remind practices that the prescription or administration of Inclisiran is not part of the GMS/PMS contract (although in negotiation with the LMC it may be commissioned via a LES). The onus lies with Commissioners to commission an appropriately funded service if they wish patients to have access to this drug, either within General Practice or via Specialist services.
Online access to records - data breaches from misfiling of records
We continue to work on this topic and seek to make the whole project fit for purpose. We have had numerous concerns about how this was imposed on the profession and these can be found here.
If you have any examples of potential or actual harm that has arisen from the accidental misfiling of data/letters in the wrong patient's record, or when information should have been withheld from online view in order to prevent harm, but wasn't, and which has only come to light now more patients have access to their records, please pass on details to email@example.com.
NHSE guidance on DHSC funding for non-consolidated pay awards
Please note that this process is being managed by NHSE. They have confirmed it is for individual providers to determine whether they may be eligible to claim, and their guidance – published on 27 November – includes details on how to do this and the necessary forms for completion.
Funding is available to support non-consolidated pay awards in organisations in relevant circumstances. DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) is seeking to only intervene to the extent that organisations are considered unable to cover the costs of the pay award without it negatively impacting on the continuity of services.
To meet the stated criteria, these circumstances should be demonstrated in reference to the risk assessment framework and reporting manual for independent sector providers of NHS services (IPRAF). Individual providers may need to seek independent financial advice to ensure they meet the criteria, and to support the completion of section 3 (relevant circumstances) of the submission form.
Requests are required to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and must be sent no later than Friday 15 December 2023. We understand requests received after this date will not be considered.
MAPs to be regulated by the GMC - write to your MP
The Government has announced that physician associates and anaesthesia associates are to be regulated by the GMC. The BMA thinks that this will add further, dangerous confusion and we need every MP to be aware of this issue, oppose the legislation and force the Government to abandon its plans. Please help by using our tool to email your MP. Read also the statement in response by Prof Philip Banfield, BMA chair of council, to the announcement.
Afghan relocation programme - ICB funding
In a recent communication, NHS England has reminded ICBs to work with local authorities to identify and support the healthcare needs of people relocating under the Afghan Relocation programmes. ICBs should use the recommended health screen for new arrivals and can claim funding directly from the Home Office for the first year of healthcare for those in settled accommodation.
Annual Conference of Representatives of LMCs (UK) 2024
The next UK Conference LMCs is due to take place on 23-24 May 2024 and will be held in Newport at Celtic Manor Resort. Motions should be submitted via this link and the deadline is noon, 1 March 2024. Representatives shall be registered medical practitioners appointed by the appropriate LMC, and LMCs are asked to complete the registration form by the following link no later than 1 May 2024
We would also like to draw your attention to the arrangements for booking accommodation for this conference. Hotel rates are available at the priority booking website. Guests can also book by telephoning PRIORITY on 0845 6123 611 or +44 1473 550 620 and quoting Event Code: BMAA008 24
For more information please refer to the letter from the Conference Chair which has been emailed out to LMCs. If you have any other questions, please email email@example.com
Cameron Fund Christmas Appeal 2023
The Cameron Fund is the GPs' own charity and it is the only medical benevolent fund that solely supports GPs and their dependents. The fund relies on donations from members and Local Medical Committees. Read more about how to donate in the Cameron Fund Christmas Appeal letter.
Preparation for any future ballot
We need our GP contract to feel safe to sustain services and deliver for our patients. We need our workload to feel safe to retain and recruit GPs and the wider practice workforce. We have been clear with DHSC and NHSE that 2024/25 must bring hope for the future of our profession. This is also the will of GPC England, who in April 2023 voted to prepare to ballot GPs on taking collective action if the Government does not “drastically improve the contract” in 2024/25 negotiations.
At the recent England Conference of LMCs, Conference voted to ballot the profession on the outcome of future negotiations. Tell your colleagues and partners to join the BMA today.
We continue to encourage practices to focus on their own team’s wellbeing and take time to reflect on what can be done to protect it (this will also meet the requirements of QOF quality improvement project on staff wellbeing). We have produced a document which includes some tools for improving workload and safe working. A range of wellbeing and support services are also available to doctors, from the BMA’s counselling and peer support services, NHS practitioner health service, Samaritans and Doctors in Distress. See also our poster with 10 tips to help maintain and support wellbeing.
GPC England committee pages and guidance for practices
Read the latest GPC England bulletin
Read the last Sessional GPs newsletter
As the year comes to an end, I wanted to thank you all for your continued work in general practice and for your help and support in the work we do. Please do keep in touch and best wishes for 2024.