London Regional Council Meeting 29th March 2017 7pm

This open meeting was held to accept or reject motions to be submitted for the Annual Representatives meeting. Although an open meeting it was attended mainly by members of the executive with Andrew Barton and Gary Marlowe being “masters of ceremony”.

I attended as a member of LRC exec as elected from the North Thames (ie NE/NW) Regional Consultants Committee.

The submitted motions will be like all the others reviewed by the Conference agenda committee and a proportion with luck will be debated and if passed become BMA policy.

Space does not allow me to go into details so the following are some of the areas the areas covered :- Air pollution ,E cigarettes, Abortion as a statutory crime, Cuts in Health Education, London weighting, NHS Staff survey, Balloting for any changes in contracts, NHS Finances, Privatisation, Medical Examiners in Cause of Death. Closures of A&E and DGHs,

These motions were not debated but had to have at least 5 members voting to submit.


Other Information from BMA London Regional Council (From Andrew Barton)

City & Hackney CCG. This CCG has plans to pool almost all of the health and social care budgets with Hackney Council and the City of London from April. They will set up shared commissioning boards to oversee the pooled funds – one for Hackney and one for the City. The move is due to be approved this week. According to CCG board papers, City and Hackney CCG will put £335m into the pooled budget in 2017-18, with Hackney and the City of London councils putting in £111m and £6m respectively. The CCG had a total allocation of £369m in 2016-17. According to the document, this will cover the budgets for all adult social care, public health and the majority of health commissioning across the boroughs. Core primary care will remain outside the integrated commissioning model and outside the pooled budget arrangements. Budgets will be pooled using a section 75 agreement and powers over the budgets will be transferred to the integrated commissioning boards. The documents make clear that despite integration measures, the CCG governing body will “remain accountable for delivery of its statutory responsibilities and operating within its constitution”.

Lewisham & Greenwich Trust. Following the loss of a contract to provide muscular-skeletal services this trust could lose up to £6.6m over five years of income and risk being put into financial special measures. This could be avoided if Circle Health, the winner of a musculoskeletal contract for Greenwich, contracts it to deliver community based services and “other orthopedic activity. The loss of activity would make Queen Elizabeth Hospital ‘the smallest site delivering both trauma and orthopaedic services in the country’.

St Georges. St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust in south London has named Jacqueline Totterdell as its new chief executive. She is currently chief operating officer at Barts Health Trust, a role she has held since 2015. She will replace interim chief executive Simon Mackenzie. Her start date has not yet been agreed. The trust has been looking to fill several senior leadership positions, after a Care Quality Commission report last year highlighted the need for permanency in its leadership team.

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Update on Consultant Contract negotations – 15 minutes

Exception reporting and the JDr contract

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Other items

The BMA has compiled a briefing for members on the Spring 2017 Budget, which can be accessed here:

It requires login on the BMA website and provides information on key statistics on health spending, as well as announcements – relevant to members, the healthcare system and wider health issues in the following areas

  • education, employment and pay
  • health and social care funding and integration
  • indemnity and insurance
  • business finances
  • promoting and protecting health
  • research

Information from BMA Comms

The Mirror, Huffington Post, GP online and National Health executive report on yesterday’s pay review body (DDRB) announcement to increase NHS staff salaries by 1 per cent. The BMA alongside other unions and MPs reacted with anger at the decision which will effectively drive down salaries in real terms. Commenting, Dr Mark Porter said: “Doctors will be angered by this apparent decision as it comes during a period when many are working harder than ever before in an environment of rising patient demand, stagnating budgets and staff shortages.”

You can read the BMA’s full response to the DDRB review here.

The BMA North East regional council chair, Dr George Rae, met with the North Eastern group of Labour MPs yesterday at Westminster to discuss health care issues affecting the North East including STP plans and the GP recruitment crisis. Commenting in the Newcastle Chronicle, Dr George Rae, said: The NHS in the North East is close to breaking point. This is an important opportunity to highlight to local MPs the serious concerns shared by many health care professionals, patients and the public, over the state of the NHS in the region.” He added: “We need urgent investment in health and social care services to meet the challenges of rising demand from an ageing population with more complex care needs. Without this, our GP surgeries, hospitals and social care system simply won’t have the staff and funding necessary to deliver high-quality patient care to the region.”

With article 50  triggered today, BBC news online and Sky News online explore what the key issues will be in the Brexit negotiations as they make reference to the recent BMA survey of doctors from the EEA revealing that four in 10 were considering moving out of the UK after Brexit.

In other news, the Guardian reports that health unions and MPs have condemned the 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff as they warn that the  government’s decision to freeze pay increases will only exacerbate the staffing crisis.

the latest figures from NHS Digital which show a decrease in the number of full time GPs in general practice and no increase in overall GP numbers in England, Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA Education, Training and Workforce GP lead said: “These figures underline just how far we are from meeting the government’s own target of recruiting and retaining more GPs as we near the one year anniversary of the GP Forward View in England. Despite the constant promises from ministers that the GP workforce would be increased by 5,000, the number of full time GPs has fallen once again while the overall number has stagnated. While there have been encouraging increases in other healthcare professionals in general practice, what we really need are GPs who can deliver more appointments and other front line services to meet rising patient demand.
Dr Kasaraneni’s comments were reported by The Mail Online, Pulse, Press Association, GP Online  and OnMedica. You can read the press release here.

The BMA’s call on the government to remove uncertainty and protect patient care by granting EEA doctors permanent residence was reflected in several news articles including The Financial Times. Dr Porter was quoted in Evening Standard. He said: “The Government must act now to ensure long-term stability across the healthcare system by providing certainty to European medical professionals about their future in the UK.”

The BMA also responded to a new report by The King’s Fund, which shows that the British public’s satisfaction with the NHS remained steady in 2016.

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said: “This report shows that the NHS is something that the public – our patients – still value highly because of the quality of care, the range of treatment options available, and the fact that it is free at the point of use.”


150 GPs leave NHS per month despite Government pledge to hire an extra 5,000 by 2020

Mail Online, Thursday 30 March 2017, (Dr Krishna Kasaraneni)

Article 50: as it happened
The Financial Times, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (BMA mention)

‘Secure the future of NHS workers on hospital front lines’, says BMA
Evening Standard, Wednesday 29 march 2017, (BMA mention)

GP leaders warn of deepening workforce crisis among GPs on ‘Brexit Day’
Pulse, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr Krishna Kasaraneni)

Fall in number of NHS GPs despite government efforts to recruit more Press Association, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr Krishna Kasaraneni)

Drop in GP numbers ‘a huge blow’ that shows crisis is deepening, say GP leaders

GP Online, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr Krishna Kasaraneni)
Headcount of NHS staff rises but GP numbers fall
OnMedica, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr Krishna Kasaraneni)

Letters: Keep our NHS staff after Brexit
News Guardian, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr George Rae)

Brits should not lose rights of EU citizens after Brexit, leaked European parliament plans
The Independent, Wednesday 29 March 2017

Cut sugar in cakes and chocolate by 20%, food industry told

BBC News Online, Thursday 30 March 2017



MPs get larger pay increase than NHS staff

Daily Mirror, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

The Waugh Zone: Hospital pay rise

Huffington Post, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

DDRB pay award will result in practice closures

GP Online, Tuesday 28 March 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

NHS staff hit back at real-term pay cuts

National Health Executive, Tuesday 28 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

NHS in North East is at breaking point

Newcastle Chronicle, Tuesday 28 March 2017, (Dr George Rae)

What are key negotiation points for Brexit?

BBC News Online, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

20 questions on Brexit

Sky News, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

Homeopathic medicines not part of prescribing ban

Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 29 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

NHS staff hit back at real-term pay cuts

National Health Executive, Tuesday 28 March 2017, (BMA Mention)

Health unions and MPs condemn ‘derisory’ 1 per cent pay rise for NHS workers

The Guardian, Tuesday 29 March 2017

Dr Youssef El-Gingihy: If the NHS really wanted to save cash, it wouldn’t ban our prescriptions – it would stop giving the private sector billions The Independent, Tuesday 29 March 2017