NHS Employers comments on the Government's announcement of details about changes to the GP contract

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18 / 3 / 2013 Midnight

The Government today announced further details on changes to the GP contract. 

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, comments:

"After months of seeking a negotiated agreement, we recognise why the government has moved to announce its decision and to put patients first."

"These changes to the GP contract follow months of seeking a negotiated agreement by NHS Employers and a considerable further consultation over the last few months by the Department of Health. We were clear throughout of our willingness and availability to negotiate.

"The NHS Employers organisation ambition has always been to negotiate fairly to get the best deal for patients. Today's announcement reflects many of the areas where we tried to take the negotiations. Our aim was to ensure that more patients receive the range of service and quality of care provided by the top performing GP practices. That must surely be the ambition of all parties. I'm therefore disappointed that, although we tried incredibly hard, a negotiated settlement just wasn't possible. This is even more disappointing as we had reached agreement with trade unions representing over one million other NHS staff on changes to their pay.

"The Government's decision to uplift the overall GP contract by 1.32 per cent clearly seeks to ensure that increases in the take home pay of staff working in GP practices are consistent with the 1 per cent pay increases that other staff working in the public sector will receive.

"We therefore understand why the Government has taken these decisions given the need to address a range of patient issues. I know the GPC will be frustrated by the announcement but we owe it to our patients to now work together to implement these changes to ensure they improve the quality of care provided to patients. I do hope the GPC will commit to that."

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