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BMA survey highlights Health Bill concerns

BMA survey highlights Health Bill concerns

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GPs have rejected the government's "unethical" clinical commissioning quality premium proposals, a survey shows.

A BMA survey seeking the views of every GP in the UK on a wide range of issues found the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently in parliament, is still injecting fear into a number of GPs.

Potential conflicts of interests arising from the reforms emerged as one issue particularly worrying GPs, with 69% reporting concerns.

"If it looks funny, it is funny… and we will have to deal with the consequences of that," said Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the GPs' Committee (GPC).

Linked to this, 75% of respondents also rejected the government's proposed 'quality premium' linking practice income to the performance of CCGs.

"The problem is that the quality inspection will be based on the cost-effective nature of the CCG," said Dr Buckman.

"There is an implication that if doctors manage to thing more cheaply, they will be able to keep some of that money indirectly through the CCG. This is unethical and we don't want it."

Almost nine out of ten GPs reported the complexity and intensity of their consultations have increased in the past five years.

Dr Buckman sympathised and said that taking on work that used to be undertaken in hospitals makes it harder to fit a consultation into a 10-minute slot and deal with surges in demand.

The survey also found the vast majority (80%) believes the GP contract should continue to reward seniority to GP partners.

While this belief was widely held between GP contractor and GP principals (88%), it dropped considerably among salaried GPs (47%).

"It is clear we need to look for the future development of seniority to see whether it is going to gradually merge with the rest of our income or stay as a reward for people who have particular levels of seniority," said Dr Buckman.

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