GPs vote for industrial action over face-to-face diktats

26th November 2021 by NASGP

GPs vote for industrial action over face-to-face diktats

Four in five GPs have voted against ‘name and shame’ tactics in an indicative ballot, The Guardian reports.

Dr Farah Jameel, the newly-elected GPC chair, told the paper that GPs were “exhausted” by work and NHS England’s proposals.

“The results of the indicative ballot show that the profession has had enough. Relationships are broken and trust has been lost,” said Dr Jameel. “Ultimately we don’t want to have to take action – we want to see action.”

Under the access plan proposals, NHS England:

  • Tasked ICSs with compiling lists of practices in their area who were in the bottom 20% of offering face-to-face appointments.
  • Threatened to put the 200 lowest-performing practices, by this metric, through a programme to “reduce waits” and increase daily appointments.
  • Committed to increase the number of appointments offered overall, particularly face-to-face.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “One of the last things any GP ever wants to do is to take industrial action; it goes against every grain in our body. But this workforce shortage has been deepening for decades, without robust action ever having been taken. So with this breakdown in communication, where the government is clearly not listening to GPs, and are instead obligating us to do even more, will only add to the problem.

“It is clear that we are extremely close to a point where many of our colleagues now feel that enough is enough. But there is still plenty that the GPC and government can still do to resolve this and get a plan in place, and we very much encourage all parties to do so.”

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