LMC Update: BMA Industrial Action Over NHSE Plan for Improving Access for Patients
Publication date: October 2021
Following the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the government's recently published plan for general practice, the BMA's GP committee has resolved that GPs, practices and LMCs should take immediate action to both convince NHSEI and Government of the need to withdraw the plan and work with the BMA on a genuine support package for practices. These are the actions called for, and our advice on them in light of the feedback we have received so far.
• BMA proposal: all practices in England to pause all ARRS recruitment and to disengage from the demands of the PCN DES
We have not seen strong support from practices to pause ARRS recruitment; some practices and PCNs are already disengaging from the PCN DES either on specific indicators or on all the requirements. Others worry this will impact on patients' views of general practice. The LMC will support all practices regardless of the position they choose to take and are happy to offer individual advice. To take this action after 31 October 2021 would be a breach of contract and would require the BMA to ballot its members on industrial action.
• BMA proposal: all practices in England to submit undated resignations from the PCN DES to be held by their LMCs, only to be issued on the condition that submissions by a critical mass of more than 50% of eligible practices is received
Some PCNs have already indicated they will be passing their undated resignation to the LMC, and this is a powerful action that has minimal impact on patient care whilst delivering a clear message to the government and NHSEI. The LMC will support you and update you on the process for this shortly if you choose to take this action.
• BMA proposal: LMCs to disengage from any participation in implementing the government’s plan.
The LMC have been spending time talking to local GPs and Clinical Directors to gauge their views. We have refused to be involved in any work around measurement of performance by appointment data. We believe this is a flawed and divisive method of allocating support and have called for a more qualitative and considered method of allocation.
Our constituents are also telling us that they want to continue dialogue with Humber Coast and Vale ICS and CCGs to invest the promised £250m primary care funding wisely, with the practices which need most support and make this sustainable beyond the period of the government’s plan. The LMC will work to secure the best support possible for practices while opposing punitive measures and the use of inaccurate data.
Virtual Q&A Session - Thursday 4 November 2021
The LMC held a virtual Q&A session on Thursday 4 November 19.00 - 20.30. The LMC shared their Winter Access Fund Plan presentation and invited attendees to discuss and ask questions. Attendees were asked to vote on the proposed actions individually and the results were as follows:
• We will continue to work with commissioners to ensure funding is invested to support all our GPs and practices, irrespective of their individual decisions and we remain focussed on safe, quality patient care and safe protected practice teams.
• The LMC will collect and collate your practices undated resignations from the PCN DES, should you choose to take this action.
• We will continue to focus on capacity, workload, premises and workforce and will provide practical advice to support everyone over the coming weeks and months.
• We know how difficult it is in general practice at the moment. That’s why we are increasing our support offer for all of your team members. Please keep in touch and let us know how we can help you.
• We will keep you updated with new advice as this develops.