Days left for GPs to vote as industrial action looms

22nd March 2024 by NASGP

Days left for GPs to vote as industrial action looms

GPs have just two days left to vote in a referendum on the GP contract before the General Practitioners’ Committee meets to debate its outcome.

Voting closes on Wednesday 27 March ahead of a GPC meeting on Thursday 28 March. The GPC will use the referendum result to gauge GPs’ appetite for industrial action at the end of the year.

In an open meeting on Thursday 21 March, GPC chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer said that industrial action for GPs may constitute switching off data sharing, serving notice on shared care agreements, refusing to undertake proformas, relinquishing rationing and risk-holding, or working to a safe level of contacts of 25 patients per day.

Issues with pay have been the main consideration for many GPs taking part, but the legislation of physician associates has also been a cause for concern for others. Alongside the referendum, the BMA has also called for an independent inquiry into the substitution of PAs for doctors on medical rotas. Last week the Telegraph reported on leaked rotas from more than 30 hospitals where PAs were undertaking doctors’ shifts.

On Wednesday, junior doctors passed a new mandate for further industrial action that stretches to 19 September, including ‘action short of strike’ (working to rule and similar actions).

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “As a community of general practitioners, this referendum is an opportunity to come together to articulate and defend the value of the work we do. It’s more than a procedural formality; it’s an opportunity for us to collectively voice our concerns and expectations.

“Ultimately, this is about patient safety. As a profession, are we prepared to carry on providing the same level of care, but with less money?

“The General Practitioners Committee needs to know what we think, and this is going to be one of the last opportunities for many of us to raise that concern.”

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