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GPs on the brink of industrial action: why they’re taking a stand

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: (Published 03 April 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q795
  1. Emma Wilkinson
  1. Sheffield

Running a practice is becoming unaffordable—but it’s hard getting people to understand why, GPs in England tell Emma Wilkinson

It was a resounding “no” in a referendum organised by the BMA, as 99% of GPs voted to reject changes in their national contract for 2024-25.1

Among the 19 000 who took part in the vote only 1% voted to accept the terms imposed from 1 April, which include a funding uplift of 2% with a new payment per patient per practice of £107.57, up from £104.73. The BMA had asked for a core contract uplift of 8.7%, without which the GP business model would be unviable. It has warned that practice closures will follow over the next year.

Billed as a “temperature check,” the referendum aimed to gauge GPs’ reaction to the contract. The next steps are now being discussed, and while GPs have indicated that they’re unlikely to strike, other forms of industrial action are on the table. An approximate timeline for GP industrial action set out by the BMA last month has suggested that action could start this autumn, building to coincide with a general election.

Katie …

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