GPs in England have voted overwhelmingly to give the BMA England GP committee the continued mandate to negotiate the Primary Care Network directed enhanced service (PCN DES) contract on behalf of the profession.
In a vote by 4,534 GPs in England, 80 per cent answered yes to the question: “Prior to any further negotiations, extension or changes for 2021/22, do you give GPC England a mandate for the PCN directed enhanced service?”
The vote followed a motion passed at last year’s conference of Local Medical Committees (LMCs) in England, which called for a ballot of the profession to secure a firm mandate for GPC England before agreeing any changes or extension to the contract.
Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GPC England chair, said: “We are glad that the profession has spoken so clearly, giving GPC England a clear mandate for the PCN directed enhanced service and telling us that we should continue negotiating this important contract on behalf of grassroots GPs throughout the country.
“With more than 99 per cent of practices now being a member of a PCN, it is vital that GPs and their teams have a voice and a seat at the negotiating table - both locally and nationally - and the BMA is proud to represent GPs’ views as it has done since the contract was developed two years ago.
“GPC England will now go forward with this, emboldened by this renewed mandate, determined to achieve the best for general practice, family doctors and their patients. However, at this critical time the government needs to acknowledge the real challenges faced by the public and the profession and do more to support the flexible development of PCNs to provide the care our patients deserve in these challenging times and beyond,” Dr Vautrey said.