GP support for fully salaried service growing

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The number of GPs supporting the idea of a fully salaried service has almost doubled in two years, while half of GPs believe partnerships won’t exist in ten years’ time, a Pulse survey has found.

The survey of 633 GPs found that 26% are in favour of a fully salaried service – compared with 14% two years ago.

Just over half - 54% - said they were against a fully salaried service, but this represented a large decrease from the 76% in 2013.

In May, the LMCs Conference voted against a motion calling for the GPC to explore ’the establishment of a fully costed and salaried GP service’.

But more GPs have cited problems with recruiting other GPs, increasing workload and stress as reasons for moving to a salaried service.

At the same time, 50% of GPs questioned did not think the partnership model of general practice will exist in 10 years – more than double the 23% who thought it would survive.

Dr Mark Coley, a salaried GP in Cheshire, said: ‘We should be paid for the hours we work.’

Dr Agnelo Fernandes, a GP partner in south London, said: ‘[The] partnership model offers greater value to patients and taxpayer but [you] need the right partners who have ability to take responsibility, sense of vocation, and ability and willingness to run a business.

‘Most GPs do not have the skills or ability to be good partners due to poor leadership skills.’

However, most GPs remain supportive of the partnership model.

Dr Stephen Tomkinson, a GP partner in Manchester, said: ‘I believe that [being in a partnership] it is what makes general practice so successful, that you have a greater ownership and responsibility to get it right, rather than working to rule on a salaried contract, from a faceless organisation.’

As part of its Five Year Forward View, NHS England has made plans for new integrated care organisations that will provide both primary and secondary care – some of which will see hospitals employing GPs.

In her final address as chair of the RCGP in 2013, Professor Clare Gerada caused controversy when she called for all GPs to become salaried, leading to her successor Dr Maureen Baker distancing the college from her comments.

Speaking about the motion at this year’s LMCs Conference, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘I would like to see this motion not as an either or but as a motion that unifies the profession, so that we actually can provide two contractual options including partnerships, but also give real value to those who want to work differently, because this is a time when we must pull together as a profession.’

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