Sessional GPs are being blocked from involvement in emerging commissioning consortia, the British Medical Association GPs committee has warned.
Committee chair Laurence Buckman said the BMA had numerous reports of salaried or part time retainer GPs from “all over the country” being left out of elections for consortia boards, and excluded from other development processes.
He told a press briefing last week: “The GPs committee is very concerned our advice given to consortia [to include all GPs] is being ignored.”
Dr Buckman said he would write to all local medical committees, which primary care trusts and GPs are generally asking to oversee election processes, to reinforce the point.
He said he would be “pointing out in the strongest terms I can that in order to maintain confidence [all consortia selecting boards or other clinical leadership teams must] include a democratic electoral process open to all GPs whatever their contractual status, with ‘one GP one vote’”.
Dr Buckman said: “I am sad to have to reiterate that. It is important they stick to this or we are disenfranchising a large chunk of the GP workforce.”
As of last year there were about 40,000 GPs in England, of which about 13,000 were not partners.
HSJ understands some GP partners, who hold primary care contracts directly, believe non-partners do not have enough of a stake to be given an equal say in elections or on boards. Under government proposals GP partners’ income will be partly dependent on successful commissioning but other GPs’ salaries will not, so some partners are unwilling to hand over decision making.
Meanwhile, the GPC has also criticised the Care Quality Commission’s registration process which it said was a “huge administrative burden” for practices, and will “end up taking GPs away from seeing patients”. The GPC publishes its own extensive guidance on the process today. Every practice in England must be registered with the regulator by April next year, and they can begin applying from October.