The Conference took place on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 November, a list of the motions debated and the parts that were carried is available here.
There were a number of spoken contributions from our representatives, including the below.
Dr Michelle Drage
Michelle Drage spoke in support of a new GP Contract:
I speak as someone who knows a little bit about GP contracts.
So, I want to speak to the point about whether the Conference “believes that the current GMS block contract of funding for general practice is outdated and inadequate for the current healthcare environment” and our relationship with the Government.
Because conference, we are on our knees. We all know that today’s workload is so much more complex than 2004, the system and society’s demands are so much more than 2004, and the workload and workforce solutions offered over the last 15 years have serially failed both us and our patients.
As Farah said yesterday in her awe-inspiring speech – we have had enough.
We didn’t twice send insulting and blaming letters to GPs about not seeing patients Face To Face, when we were doing exactly that thing – they did.
We haven’t repeatedly scapegoated our colleagues in the media – they have.
We didn’t cause patients to be violent and abusive to us, and our practice staff desperately trying to do their job, they did.
We haven’t imposed a so-called support package, without any consultation, which requires us to shop a random 20% of our colleagues on fake criteria to get that so-called support. They have.
Conference, general practice isn’t broken – it’s being broken.
And we didn’t break it – they did.
Conference, we are not responsible for this mess. They are.
That’s why Conference, we demand a new contract. A contract which puts the cash into the core. And we demand it now.
Conference, Farah asked us yesterday to believe in ourselves. Well this is a believe motion and Christmas is just a month away.
If you believe, please vote for a new Contract.
Dr Farah Jameel’s speech to LMC Conference
Farah Jameel gave a very powerful speech just days after being elected GPC England Chair, an extract is below and the full speech can be read here:
Today, I offer the Government and the media the opportunity to participate in this fresh start – to step back from the rhetoric of division, to reflect on the dedication that general practice has shown in the most difficult of circumstances and to demonstrate a willingness to work together to create solutions to this crisis. Let’s work together, let’s “build general practice back better
When things matter, we need to find our voices and we need to speak up. Our patients, communities and our colleagues across the NHS need to know we stand shoulder to shoulder with them and that we will turn our intentions into actions. With empathy, with kindness, with humility, with courage but most importantly with the care our patients deserve at the heart of it all. Let’s write the future of NHS General Practice together.
Contributions from London LMCs
Navin Thakrar from Hounslow LMC made these points while debating the PCN DES:
There is significant unfunded workload associated with recruitment and supervision of these new staff. We’re also crying out for additional funding for premises where these new staff can work.
Increasingly PCN CDs are being asked to take on unfunded additional work in developing ICP and ICS structures and are being lined up as the new voice of general practice, side-lining local LMC representation.
PCNs are being encouraged to incorporate so that the new expanded CCGs can contract directly with these organisations. In North West London it is proposed that enhanced services will be contracted directly with PCNs in future years and it is only a small step further to contract core services with PCNs. This is the death knell for independent contractor status.
Enough is enough, we should draw the line now and instruct GPC England to refuse to negotiate any further new work beyond the PCN DES contract termination and ensure the funding is moved into our core contract.
Tamsin Ellis from Islington LMC made these points while debating how practices could combat climate change:
I recently attended the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow. I sat in large rooms and listened to the stark reality of the climate crisis, and the empty promises brought to negotiation rooms. I heard small island states talk of western countries signing their death certificates. I saw greenwash in its highest form.
As medics we are scientists. And there are over 14,000 scientific studies reviewed in this year’s IPCC report showing that it is now unequivocal. The earth is warming at an alarming rate, and as humans we are both responsible and at risk. The decisions we make now, predict the climate we will see in the future.
So we know this, we know about our doomsday. Why is this an additional role for GPs? Isn’t this the ultimate palming off? Shouldn’t it be governments and fossil fuel companies?
But the thing is, these crises, the climate crisis, compounding on the GP crisis will continue to wreak havoc on our communities. Not in the long term – right now. And that will become our business.
We will see fuel poverty affecting those most vulnerable, inequalities rife with people breathing dirty air.
The solutions are not only positive, but improve health outcomes. Cleaner air, healthier diets, active transport, access to nature for wellbeing – the list goes on. We desperately require clinical leadership and support for us to make these changes.
I’ve seen first hand the energy it can give to primary care staff to take this on, but only if we are supported from top down changes. We need more resource, we need primary care’s voice heard in wider greener NHS context, and so we are asking for national policy that primary care leadership for sustainability is required at ICS level To make the system change required and with support for funding this work so we don’t overstretch the already tight budgets we are managing.
I believe this will mean we reap the rewards later down the line, and mean we are able to sleep night, knowing we did all we could.
I urge you to support this motion so that we may allow time, co-ordination and strategic review to create a healthy future for both our patients and the planet.