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Primary care networks: NHS England under pressure to rein in its ambitions

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 21 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m230
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Waves of protest and resignations of doctors signed up to lead the new networks have sent the BMA and NHS England back to the negotiating table. Gareth Iacobucci finds out why

Mounting unrest over the proposed new terms and conditions for general practices to participate in primary care networks (PCNs) came to a head last week when GP leaders rejected an updated contract from NHS England.12

Practices that are part of a PCN are expected to agree new terms for the services they will deliver from April so as to receive extra funding agreed with NHS England designed to encourage closer collaboration in primary care. But draft terms and conditions published two days before Christmas caused alarm among many GPs, many of whom thought that too much was being asked of them.

The BMA’s General Practitioners Committee for England will now push for changes in response to the profession’s concerns, armed with what it called a “mandate” from GPs not to accept terms that would overload already overstretched practices.

The details of the government’s wider package of proposed changes to GPs’ contracts for 2020-21 remain confidential, but new conditions for participating in networks form a key part of the …

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