'Trojan Horse' in GPs' New Contract Deal Rejected

Nicky Broyd

March 12, 2020

GP leaders have voted to reject a key part of the recent deal with NHS England over Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and Network Contract Directed Enhanced Services (DES).

A special BMA Local Medical Committee meeting backed a motion from Berkshire saying that, "PCN DES is a 'Trojan horse' to transfer work from secondary care to primary care."

It called the plans "an existential threat to the independent contractor model" and called for "immediate cessation of LES (Local Enhanced Service) and DES transfers from practice responsibility to that of PCNs".

It mandated the General Practice Council (GPC) to carry out urgent surveys on whether members intend to sign the deal and says they should reject the current contract wording.

It said: "GPC England must urgently negotiate investment directly into the core contract as the only way to resolve the crisis in general practice is by trusting GP partners with realistic investment."

One delegate, London GP Dr Devina Maru tweeted that it was a "privilege" to witness the rejection vote and that "The suspense continues ...".



Seeking More Views

The BMA's GPC England (GPCE) chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, said in a statement: "Primary Care Networks were introduced through the 2019-20 contract negotiations as a way of providing support to both practices and their patients with both additional staff and improved services, backed by significant levels of new funding.

"Through the changes GPC England recently secured, it means that by 2023-24, at least £2bn will reach practices via the PCN DES – in addition to a guaranteed £9bn to practices directly, which will be over £1bn increase since 2019. This means that for the average practice their income will increase to £1.3m by 2023/24.

"Since the deal was agreed by GPC England in February we have spoken to large numbers of GPs across the country at a number of roadshow events, as well as to nearly 400 at our PCN conference, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

"We have however listened carefully to the issues raised at today’s conference by LMC (Local Medical Committee) representatives and as always GPCE will do what we can to respond.

"As PCN membership and funding is a voluntary DES, it is and remains up to individual practices whether they choose to sign up or not and we will now be considering how we seek the views of practices on what they are doing and planning."


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.