Intended for healthcare professionals


GPs must push back against work dumped on them by hospitals, says BMA

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 20 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1954
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

GPs should push back on inappropriate work given to them by hospitals, the BMA has said.

The BMA has published guidance for GPs on how to transfer unnecessary work back to secondary care managers.1 The organisation said that the 2017/18 NHS standard contract for secondary care trusts, which came into force on 1 April, required hospitals to reduce the amount of bureaucratic work they shifted on to GP practices.

Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GP committee, said that GPs had coped for a long time with unnecessary work being directed to them from hospital managers. “These new requirements aim to reverse a culture, spanning decades, of secondary care passing on inappropriate work and bureaucratic demands to GP practices,” Nagpaul said.

He added, “At a time when general practice is at breaking point we cannot afford GPs and their staff to be dealing with work that could easily be done by the administrative wing of secondary care.”

The BMA has created template letters for GPs to send to their local hospital trusts if the workload does not reduce. It has also created a template letter for GPs to send to their clinical commissioning group to highlight which changes have not been implemented, so that the CCG can take action.

Nagpaul said, “We will continue to place pressure on CCGs and secondary care managers to ensure they are meeting these new contractual responsibilities so that hospitals and GP practices can deliver a better, more efficient service in which patients do not suffer at the hands of administrative hurdles and bureaucracy.”