GPs in England go into dispute with NHS England over contract

By BMA media team

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 17 April 2024
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GP leaders at the BMA have written to NHS England to say they are entering into a dispute with them.

It is over changes to the service GMS contract for 2024/25 that the Government has with GPs in England, and the BMA is warning that industrial action could be on the horizon unless urgent improvements are made to the contract.

In a letter written to Amanda Doyle, National Director for Primary Care and Community Services, Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chair of GPC England at the BMA, said the decision follows the results of the Association’s GP referendum, in which almost 100% of more than 19,000 GPs and GP registrars who voted said they did not accept the 2024/25 GMS Contract for General Practice from Government and NHS England. The 24/25 contract was imposed on 1st April 2024.

One of the main areas of concern for patient care is around the ongoing difficulties GPs have in recruiting more family doctors. Practices already have access to a funding pot that lets them hire more staff, but not GPs. The contract could have changed this. This would also have helped relieve cases of locum and salaried doctor unemployment across the country.

Dr Bramall-Stainer said: “GPs and their patients want the same thing. We want patients to be able to see their family doctor, quickly and easily, in a practice that is local to them, well-staffed and resourced, and safe. 

“This contract imposition will do untold damage to our profession, making it harder for surgeries to stay open and give the care our patients need.

“We don’t want to take any kind of industrial action and hope it can be avoided, but the further NHS England and the Government get from working with us on solutions, the closer GPs get to taking action.”

Further information

Please find the letter attached.

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union 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.