MWord 117, covering: new Government, GPCE message to Wes Streeting and collective action ballot

  • Mword

Plus: our safety resources, getting involved in speaking up for general practice and reporting pressures to make the case for greater support.

09 July 2024

Dear Colleague,

It’s over. Thank goodness it’s over. But the challenge to secure the future of general practice in London goes on.

Today I have five major things for you:

  1. Our Londonwide LMCs challenge to the new Government
  2. Chair of GPC England writes to new Secretary of State
  3. GPC England “Protect your patients, protect your GP practice” campaign
    • BMA non-statutory ballot of GP contract holders on collective action continues
    • Final London Live GPCE roadshow is this Thursday 18 July
    • Proposed collective action options short survey
    • BMA resources/campaign materials for you, in your surgeries
  4. Safety first – Londonwide LMCs safety pack
  5. Get involved
  1. Our Londonwide LMCs challenge to the new government
    The day after the election, on the exact day the NHS was founded 76 years ago, I issued this challenge to PM Sir Keir Starmer MP and his Health Secretary Rt Hon Wes Streeting MP:
    “London’s GPs and patients need the new Government to stand up for safe care. This change in national leadership presents a fresh opportunity to reverse the previous Government’s systematic degradation of the core of general practice.

    “…Together we must grab this first chance in 15 years to stabilise and secure the future of general practice, to enable people to get the best from their GP team in a timely way. This will re-motivate and reinvigorate the GP workforce so that general practice and the doctors and nurses driving it are themselves healthy, well and fit to provide the quality of care that patients will need for the future.”

  2. Chair of GPC England writes to new Secretary of State
    Yesterday Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, GPC England Chair, the BMA committee which is the sole negotiating body for all GPs, wrote a comprehensive letter to the new Secretary of State for Health and Care. It sets out the profession’s case, please read it in full, and share with your practice team. Katie concludes with:
    “I believe we need safety, stability and hope.

    “Safety now to prevent unemployment and practice closures. Stability for the next year, and hope for the future. As a profession, we are so tired of having to fight to survive – we desperately want a Government on our side – to help us deliver the general practice our patients deserve, to start the journey to bring back their family doctor, and to reset general practice as the jewel in the crown of an NHS we can all be rightly proud of.

    “I can’t wait to get started.”

  3. GPC England “Protect your patients, protect your GP practice” campaign
    – BMA non-statutory ballot of GP contract holders on collective action continues

    The GP BMA online ballot for contract holders ie partners continues until Midday on Monday 29 July. Please, please, please participate! The higher the turnout the more it counts.

    – Final London Live GPCE roadshow is this Thursday 18 July
    The final London GPCE roadshow takes place at BMA House this Thursday, 18 July, from 6.30-9pm. Please come along if you can. If you are wondering if all this is still necessary with a new Government in place, it is evident that it’s still going to take a loud and clear message from general practice to get the changes that our practices and patients so badly need, such as a new Contract. The model isn’t broken, the contract is.

    – Proposed collective action options short survey
    The Londonwide team are seeking a view from the lead Partner from each practice as to which actions you would consider. Please complete this short survey. Responses will be anonymised and shared with LMCs and London GPC England elected representatives.

    GPC England is not recommending which action(s) practices take. It is for each practice to decide as they see fit. BMA advice is that LMCs should not help to organise, and will not be asked to call for, collective action or industrial action beyond the scope of that specifically called for by the BMA.

    – BMA resources/campaign materials for you, in your surgeries
    A reminder that the public-facing and profession-facing communications campaign are all available online.

  4. Safety first – Londonwide LMCs safety pack
    A reminder that our new safety resource pack has both new and refreshed resources to help manage workload, deal with abusive and violent patients, provides guidance on managing access, and includes a patient participation pack, template letters and responses, posters, and guidance on reporting operational pressures to help manage the growing demands you face. I urge you to check them out, share them, and most importantly… use them!

    • Safe working pack – a new collection of resources designed for GPs to have open during consultations, gathering together new, updated and existing materials.
    • Abuse and violent patient guide – a new document providing extensive advice and tools for practices to help manage and mitigate the unfortunate rise in patient abuse.
    • Patient participation support pack – these new materials help practices to build support and understanding of how they are prioritising work to safely meet patient needs, while under unprecedented pressures.
    • Template letters – these updated letters can be used to push back on un-resourced work, so GPs can focus on essential activity that keeps their patients safe.
    • Posters – used alongside the template letters, these refreshed posters can help to build patient understanding of what they can expect from their GP.
    • Guidance documents – covering a wide range of topics, our guidance helps GPs and practice teams to navigate what activity they are responsible for and stay safely on the right side of regulations and requirements.
  5. Get involved – here’s how
    – highlight the pressure you are under
    The General Practice Alert State reporting system, which we are currently rolling out in London, highlights the pressures on general practice across the Capital in real time. By answering just six questions each week you can give us valuable, high quality, data to evidence the challenges you face and to change the narrative from individual practices being to blame for patients struggling to get appointments, to the more accurate reasoning that pressures on general practice are due to system-wide problems. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do so here.

    – help tell the story of London general practice
    We use data from our regular workforce surveys and elsewhere whenever we can, including the recent excellent workforce, patient and practice data GP dashboard created by colleagues in Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire LMCs, showing the impact of ten years of under investment on London region and individual constituencies in the Capital between 2014-2024. But human stories are far more impactful than data and we need people working in general practice to tell your story and show the people behind the jobs in general practice.

    These human stories help us to get media coverage, illustrate issues when meeting with local MPs and opinion formers, and create online campaigning resources. Anyone in the practice team can take part in these activities, as long as you can speak clearly about your work, what you do, and how that affects patient care. Our communications team can tell you more.

    – join the London GPs WhatsApp group
    The London GPs WhatsApp group will be used to share information from GPC reps, seek views from frontline GPs and consider next steps. Follow this link from the phone where you have your WhatsApp account and join the group.

    – vote in the GPC England ballot
    Closing on Friday 29 July, this ballot is a clear and specific way to show solidarity with your fellow GPs. The time to act is now!

Please do share this MWord with your practice colleagues. As ever, I welcome your feedback at And do know that the team of experts and leaders here at Londonwide LMCs are here for you and by your side.

With best wishes




Dr Michelle Drage MBBS FRCGP
CEO, Londonwide LMCs