GPs in England reject Government contract

Family doctors have previously said that the contract will lead to services being ‘cut’.

Family doctors have overwhelmingly rejected a new contract for GP services in England
Family doctors have overwhelmingly rejected a new contract for GP services in England (Anthony Devlin/PA)

GPs in England are set to consider next steps after an “overwhelming” majority voted to reject Government changes to their contract.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said that family doctors feel “frustrated, angry and upset” at planned changes to the 2024/25 contract for GP services.

More than 19,000 GPs and GP registrars took part in the BMA’s referendum, with 99% voting “no” when asked if they accept the new contract for the service.

Earlier this year it was reported that the BMA had set out an approximate timeline for potential GP industrial action this winter.

The BMA has said previously that the contract, set to come into force on April 1, would see practices given a “well below-inflation 1.9% baseline practice contract funding uplift”.

The doctors’ union has now warned that imposition of the contract would put practices at risk of closure as “many will struggle to stay financially viable”.

The BMA said 2,400 more GPs have joined the union since the beginning of February.

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chair of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee for England, said: “The unanimity of the vote in our referendum demonstrates the depth of feeling among the profession.

“In 20 years, I’ve never known GPs to be so frustrated, angry and upset. We are unable to offer our patients the care they want and need.

“Today’s overwhelming result signals the start of our fight back, and we will bring our patients with us.

“GPC England meets today, to consider the profession’s next steps, in a move emboldened by 2,400 newly registered BMA GP members.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We hugely value the work of GPs and their teams and it is disappointing the BMA have voted against the contract.

“It will reduce bureaucracy so GPs can spend more time with patients and give them greater autonomy to run local practices. Further pay uplifts may be made to the contract following the Government’s response to the independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration.

“There are now 800 more doctors working in general practice compared to last February, and last year the NHS delivered 50 million more GP appointments than five years ago.”