Now family doctors ‘are threatening to strike’: GPs consider joining walkouts over contract they claim doesn’t pay enough
- GPs are threatening to strike over a contract they say fails to pay them enough
- The British Medical Association GP Committee said the deal was ‘insulting’
GPs last night threatened to strike over a proposed NHS contract they say fails to pay them enough to see patients.
The British Medical Association’s GP Committee voted against the deal, which it described as ‘insulting’ and a ‘slap in the face’.
The doctors’ union claimed the rates on offer do not take account of inflation – and vowed to take industrial action if the Government and NHS England refuse to renegotiate.
NHS sources reacted with surprise to the vote and announcement, saying negotiations were still ongoing.
Dr Kieran Sharrock, acting-chairman of the GP Committee, claimed the current offer was ‘insulting to staff and unsafe for patients’.
GPs last night threatened to strike over a proposed NHS contract they say fails to pay them enough to see patients. Picture: Junior doctor strike outside St Thomas’ Hospital
The NHS is braced for strikes on four days out of five next week, with nurses, ambulance staff and physiotherapists walking out
He said: ‘With inflation remaining stubbornly high, burdening practices with rising expenses for bills, staff and services, this offer will lead partners to question the very viability of practices and their ability to continue trying to provide safe care to their patients.
‘When we’ve lost more than 400 practices in England since 2019, impacting millions of patients, we cannot afford to lose any more.’
The BMA added: ‘If the Government and NHS England refuse to negotiate an improved offer, and a contract is imposed on practices, this would send entirely the wrong message to patients and a profession speaking up to defend patient safety.
‘GPC England would therefore be forced to consider all options, including the potential for industrial or collective action.’
The NHS is braced for strikes on four days out of five next week, with nurses, ambulance staff and physiotherapists walking out.
Meanwhile, it has emerged rail union barons – behind today’s train strikes – have been exacerbating timetable chaos in the North by refusing to come in for overtime shifts.
Leaked correspondence reveals Aslef, the train drivers’ union, told members to stop rest-day working after operator TransPennine Express (TPE) said back-up drivers would have to start coming into depots – as they used to.
During the pandemic, back-up drivers began waiting for work at home rather than waiting in depots.
Junior doctor Anita Jayadev, 35 (second right) joins other junior doctors on strike at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London
The British Medical Association’s GP Committee voted against the deal, which it described as ‘insulting’ and a ‘slap in the face’ (file image)
However, remaining at home meant they couldn’t step in and turn up on time to drive certain services at the last minute.
TPE – which connects Newcastle, Hull and Leeds with Manchester – therefore asked back-up drivers to start coming in again.
But Aslef rejected the demand and the deal on overtime fell apart in November 2021. Ever since, the operator has suffered a shortage of drivers and been one of the worst-hit for cancellations.
The disclosure blows a hole in union claims that the operator is solely to blame for disruption.
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