GPC has now produced updated guidance on the draft voluntary contract engagement documentation; this is attached and also available at this link on the BMA website:
In addition to this and my initial comments in the email below in respect of ensuring that core GMS/PMS contracts are not surrendered, my additional observations having further looked at this documentation is that, even at the level of virtual and partially integrated MCPs, GPs /practices signing up to alliance or integration agreements will be accepting a hitherto unprecedented degree of budgetary accountability and responsibility, as well as being required to accept referral management pathways, reductions in hospital activity, shifts of work out of hospital etc., seemingly overriding the contractual definition of essential services as well as creating considerable conflict with the professional obligation to be the patient’s advocate, and this within a system which is massively underfunded and will inevitably continue to become increasingly so.
I hope that further national guidance will soon be forthcoming, including legal opinion on the potential implications for GPs and their practices of signing up to membership of virtual and partially integrated MCPs, let alone fully integrated models. I appreciate that many of you will indeed want to grasp the opportunities and benefits that might be available through these new ways of working, and particularly so of course when the current climate for general practice is so desperately toxic. I would urge however that such far- reaching decisions are only made when we are all far more fully informed of what these changes are actually going to mean for GPs and their practices. We are as yet a long way from such a position.
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