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LMCs to debate regulation allowing hospital consultants to work in practices

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By Costanza Pearce
10 November 2021

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GPs attending the BMA’s annual England LMCs conference this month will debate whether to push for regulatory changes that would allow hospital consultants to work in GP practices. 

Delegates attending the virtual conference on 25 and 26 November will also debate motions on NHS 111, PCNs, advice and guidance (A&G) services and other workload dumping from secondary care.

A motion proposed by Cambridgeshire LMC said that the BMA’s GP Committee for England should explore changes to the performers’ list regulations with NHS England to ‘allow consultant staff to deliver care within general practice’.

This comes as ICSs could have the ‘potential to support the general practice workload crisis’, it added.

Another motion to be debated said the conference ‘demands that all direct NHS 111 bookings into NHS general practice are suspended’ where the practice has declared a ‘red alert’ or equivalent.

It also demanded that one and two hour dispositions from NHS 111 stop as ‘general practice is not an emergency service and cannot safely receive [them]’.

GP leaders will also debate whether GPC England should ‘refuse to negotiate’ new work or funding for PCNs or an extension of the DES contract beyond its current 2023 end date.

The motions said the conference ‘instructs GPC England to negotiate that PCN funding be moved into the core contract’ and to ‘ensure practices are able to easily withdraw from the DES in a straightforward way that will not destabilise the practice withdrawing, other local practices or the provision of patient services’.

The conference ‘believes that PCNs are a Trojan Horse and a failed project that was mis-sold to the profession’, it added.

It comes as GPs were last week given until 14 November to respond to a BMA ballot asking what action they are prepared to take against NHS England’s GP access plan – including withdrawing or ‘disengaging’ from the network DES.

Another motion called on the GPC to negotiate a ‘fee for service contract’, including item of service payments for core general practice work, to replace the current block contract and prevent the ‘slow death’ of GMS.

It also said that practices should be allowed to offer private services alongside NHS services ‘where such services are not commissioned by the NHS for delivery in a general practice setting’.

Meanwhile, LMCs will debate a motion calling on the GPC to ensure that GPs ‘cannot be mandated to use advice and guidance by commissioners or providers’.

‘GPs should be free to refer to a secondary care colleague when thought to be clinically necessary, without pre-referral interference’ and ‘if advice and guidance is used, then it is [to] be the role of secondary care, not general practice, to dispense the advice to patients and prescribe where appropriate’, it said.

Pulse revealed this week that an LMC has called for GP practices to be paid £12.50 per advice and guidance (A&G) episode to resource the extra workload.

It follows a major London trial assessing A&G as the single point of access for referrals and a CCG target to cut GP referrals by 65% through A&G.

NHS England has set a national target requiring GPs to use A&G for 12 out of 100 outpatient attendances by March next year.

Other motions to be debated at the conference include motions calling for:

This story firsta ppeared on our sister title, Pulse.

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