The Family Doctor Association (FDA) is warning that proposed changes to GPs contracts could see senior practitioners walk away from commissioning bodies.
Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the FDA, says that the 2012/13 GP contract is a “toxic mix” of rising expectations, coupled with increased workloads and falling resources.
Dr Swinyard said the proposals could alienate senior GPs and “poison” the relationships between the profession at a time when they are crucial to the success of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
He said: “If the government seriously thinks GPs are stupid enough to want to go into clinical commissioning groups when they are under so much pressure in their practices, then they are wrong.
“I can see a lot of good GPs and senior GPs who have been helping run their CCGs who are going to have to back away from commissioning to cope with the increased workload they will have in their practices under the new contract.”
Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance and interim president of NHS Clinical Commissioners, expressed concern that the new GP contracts were losing their patient-led focus, instead “going down a biomedical route”.
“Some of the new clinical indication proposed will take up an awful lot of time and effort for an agenda that is not patient-led, and will not make an awful lot of difference,” he said.
“I am worried that GPs will become more focused on getting the figures in place rather than getting involved in improving the health of the population.”
The NHS Commissioning Board say it is up to the Department of Health to make changes to the contract in the light on consultation responses.