'Frustrated, angry and upset': GPs in England overwhelmingly reject contract changes

Now, the doctors' union has warned that imposition of the contract would put practices at risk of closure, ITV News' Health Correspondent Rebecca Barry reports

GPs in England are to consider their next steps after an "overwhelming" majority voted to reject government changes to their contracts.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said family doctors feel "frustrated, angry and upset" at planned changes to the 2024/25 contract for GP services.

More than 19,000 GPs and GP registrars took part in the BMA's referendum, with 99% voting "no" when asked if they accept the new contract for the service.

Earlier this year, it was reported the BMA had set out an approximate timeline for potential GP industrial action this winter.

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The BMA has said previously the contract - due to come into force on Monday April 1 - would see practices given a "well below-inflation 1.9% baseline practice contract funding uplift".

Now, the doctors' union has warned that imposition of the contract would put practices at risk of closure as "many will struggle to stay financially viable".

Some 2,400 more GPs have joined the union since the beginning of February, according to the BMA.

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chair of the BMA's General Practitioners Committee for England, said she has never known GPs to be so "frustrated, angry and upset" in the past 20 years, adding: "The unanimity of the vote in our referendum demonstrates the depth of feeling among the profession."

She said: " Today's overwhelming result signals the start of our fight back, and we will bring our patients with us.

"GPC England meets today, to consider the profession's next steps, in a move emboldened by 2,400 newly registered BMA GP members."

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson said: "We hugely value the work of GPs and their teams and it is disappointing the BMA have voted against the contract.

"It will reduce bureaucracy so GPs can spend more time with patients and give them greater autonomy to run local practices.

"Further pay uplifts may be made to the contract following the government's response to the independent Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration.

"The number of GPs working in the NHS has been increasing for six months in a row, and last year the NHS delivered 50 million more GP appointments than five years ago."

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