For East and West Sussex LMCs
Dr Russell Brown
15th October 2015
The GPC held its latest meeting on 15th of October.
Much of the meeting was centred around the beginnings of the contract negotiations for 2016-17, which have started much later than usual. NHS Employers have a limited mandate so far but it may be expanded after the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review later in the year. More news when I can. I suspect that discussions will in part be around the recently announced offer by the Prime Minister and we will give serious consideration to how that may affect GPs. It is likely the experiences of the Vanguard sites will have a bearing on the development of this announcement, which is currently little more than headlines. But as usual, everything is highly confidential and so I can tell you every little.
Foreign visitors: a new and clarified view of the eligibility of foreign visitors to the UK for Primary Care is interesting. It appears that ANYONE who is in the UK is eligible to receive primary car services for no charge. There are several issues around this. Guidance will be rewritten soon and discussions are ongoing with NHS England. For example, where does primary care stop? If a GP requests a chest X-ray for an American tourist, is that chargeable (by the hospital) or not? Information and opinion is also being sought of the indemnity organisations as to whether they cover GPs for providing services for example to American (and therefore potentially litigious) tourists. I should point out I only use Americans as an example as there are no collaborative arrangements in place as there are with many countries.
A report from the NHS Alliance on "Making Time in General Practice" chimes well with the GPC's existing "Quality First" work. I understand there will be joint NHSE/LMC meetings to support work towards achieving the suggestions contained in both reports.
A report by the Health Foundation on quality indicators in General Practice, available here, vindicates GPC's position that any quality indicators used in General practice need to be contextual and that simple scorecards or league tables are at best unhelpful and over simplistic.
The afternoon was spent in smaller groups discussing what the future may look like and how both GPC and LMCs can continue to represent their constituents.
The “official” October GPC news can be found at the BMA Communities website.
The next GPC meeting is scheduled for November.
I hope you have found this report helpful. Please feedback so that I can ensure my reports are useful.
Dr Russell Brown