GPs in England give BMA firm mandate to continue negotiations over Primary Care Networks

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Thursday 21 January 2021

GPs in England have voted overwhelmingly to give the BMA’s England GP committee the continued mandate to negotiate the Primary Care Network directed enhanced service (PCN DES) contract on behalf of the profession.

In a vote by 4,534 GPs in England1, 80% answered yes to the question: “Prior to any further negotiations, extension or changes for 2021/22, do you give GPC England a mandate for the PCN directed enhanced service?”

The vote followed a motion passed at last year’s conference of Local Medical Committees (LMCs) in England, which called for a ballot of the profession to secure a firm mandate for GPC England before agreeing any changes or extension to the contract2.

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GPC England chair, said:

“We are glad that the profession has spoken so clearly, giving GPC England a clear mandate for the PCN directed enhanced service and telling us that we should continue negotiating this important contract on behalf of grassroots GPs throughout the country.

“With more than 99% of practices now being a member of a PCN, it is vital that GPs and their teams have a voice and a seat at the negotiating table – both locally and nationally - and the BMA is proud to represent GPs’ views as it has done since the contract was developed two years ago.

“Since their launch in 2019 PCNs have provided growing amount of additional funding and support to help practices to reduce their workload by working together with additional staff, and while significant challenges remain, as our recent survey of clinical directors showed there is cautious optimism among the profession around what groups can achieve together.

“GPC England will now go forward with this, emboldened by this renewed mandate, determined to achieve the best for general practice, family doctors and their patients. However, at this critical time the government needs to acknowledge the real challenges faced by the public and the profession and do more to support the flexible development of PCNs to provide the care our patients deserve in these challenging times and beyond.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. All BMA GP members in England were sent the question, and an open link was made available, allowing any GMC registered GP in England to take part. The vote was open between January 6 and 19.
  2. More details on the vote are available here.
  3. Read more about Primary Care Networks here.