Less than one in five GPs would have voted for the GP contract

Written by: Beth Gault
Published on: 28 Jun 2019

Only 15% of GPs would have approved the new five-year GP contract if it had been put to ballot, according to a survey.

Out of the 810 GPs surveyed, 45% said they would have not voted for the new contract and 40% said they didn’t know.

It comes as BMA members have voted against the ‘immediate’ withdrawal of the GP contract, after a motion was put forward at the body's annual representative meeting in Belfast this week.

The contract, introduced in April and negotiated by the BMA and NHS England, brings in a raft of changed - including financial incentives to join primary care networks and a new state-backed indemnity scheme paid for out of the global sum. 

Read all about the 2019/20 contract updates

At yesterday's BMA meeting, the BMA’s London Regional Council, who put forward the motion, said they were ‘opposed’ to the framework agreement and insisted that GPs and trainee GPs should be allowed to vote on it.

It said: ‘That this meeting believes this heist of GP registered NHS patients and their capitated budgets through dint of making primary care contract holders hastily sign network contracts and agreements by May 2019, suggests that the real agenda of GP contract change is to "evolve" independent GP practices into extinction over five years and replace them with ICS-run primary care.’

In Pulse’s survey, GPs were asked whether they would have voted in favour of the motion if balloted.

One respondent commented: ‘No, not ever. It’s appalling. Extra work, extra responsibility, extra liability, dumping extended hours then improved access. Network rules too restricting. Legal mess.

‘No real increase in funding. No freedom to invest in staff we need rather than those stipulated. Even worse than 2004 which at least allowed us to earn more for the extra work – for the first year or two anyway.’

Another respondent said: ‘I think the concept behind primary care networks are right but the approach, slowly phased investment and constraining approach to recruitment into new roles won’t impact on sustainability greatly.’

It follows warnings from accountants that practices should ‘think twice’ before signing primary care network contracts, due to potential concerns around VAT and HR issues.

Earlier this year, a number of practices were reported to have ‘hurriedly’ designed their networks in order to meet the deadline.

It was revealed that practices would receive 45p per patient less through DES for providing extended hours

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