Friday, April 19, 2013

GPC report 18 April 2013

GPC Report

For East and West Sussex LMCs

Dr Russell Brown


18 April 2013


The GPC held its meeting on 18 March.


This months report will be brief as, for a change, much of the discussion was confidential.


Equitable funding, locum superannuation and PMS practices news

Discussions are ongoing. A letter to the profession has been sent by Laurence Buckman on 17 April and its contents are about all I can divulge on how the plans for equitable funding are likely to impact on PMS practices. Discussions about the new obligation on practices to pay locum superannuation are still ongoing but are no further forward at this time.


Additionally, there have been discussions about arrangements for collaborative fees and occupational health services for practice staff. But no news.



There will be an announcement shortly on a policy that is to be implemented very soon. You will have to wait for the announcement but expect some of previously aired concerns by LMC members to be addressed. It should also be noted that it will be an ongoing and developing piece of work, with involvement from the profession and patients being encouraged.



Work is continuing on nailing down the details for leases and the like. Legal advice is being taken by both sides in an effort to get an agreed and sensible model. However, it will still be necessary for practices to instruct their own advisors to ensure they will be well served by any lease arrangements.



I was asked to give an interview to BBC South East Today about NHS111 during this months meeting. Fortunately, I managed to get back to the meeting without missing much about NHS111. In brief, it is still a mess, the tendering process has demonstrably failed, response times are still unacceptable. What we need is a reintegration on the triage service with the face-to-face service. Will it happen? As we already know, there is a political imperative on this. I just hope no one gets hurt.


Commissioning update

There was an update on the recently published conflicts of interest guidance from NHS England, the Monitor document on fair playing fields and an oral update on engagement with the process the Labour Party is going through to try and determine its health policies.


A motion was proposed and passed in all parts. I reproduce it below:


That GPC believes that compulsory practice membership of CCGs with statutory duties as defined by the Health and Social Care Act:


1. risks placing GP partners in a position of untenable conflict between their professional obligations to their patients and the statutory obligations of their practices as CCG members;

2. fundamentally changes the role and nature of general practices, and, in view of recent regulatory changes, risks forcing them to be integral agents of state rationing, cost control and privatisation, seriously threatening the trust between GPs and their patients and therefore posing a risk to the very integrity of NHS general practice;


3. places significant obstacles in the way of GPs and practices acting in accordance with the recommendations of the Francis report as they will be under inevitable pressure to comply with their CCGs' statutory obligations to stay within budgets and to achieve financially and managerially-driven targets which conflict with the needs of their patients;


4. adds to competing pressures on general practice, particularly following the recent contract imposition, and GPC recognises that practices must and will prioritise providing safe essential services to their patients and are therefore very likely to consider limiting their engagement with their CCG and its activities to their contractual obligations;


5. leads it to call upon the BMA , local medical committees to robustly support doctors who are placing the interests of their patients as their first concern and who may be unable to comply with obligations placed upon them by the constitution of their CCG where there is evidence that patient safety may be compromised by the requirements of CCG policy.


Words mean what words say and I will not embellish them by attempting to interpret the beyond repeating them.


I understand there are similar motions going to the Conference of LMCs next month. The next GPC meeting is in June because of this. There will be a report from there as well though.


I hope you have found this helpful. As ever, feedback on my report is encouraged.


Dr Russell Brown


PS It is interesting to see how much more detail is contained in this month's GPC News, which will be on the BMA website soon at, as I was under the impression much of the conversation was confidential. Perhaps I should be less discrete...


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