IDF welcomes NHS GPs into its fold

Independent Doctors Federation AGM.

Private GPs have come out strongly in support of their NHS colleagues’ pay plight which is forcing them to drastically reduce drawings and to make tough business decisions.

The increasing financial pressure on health service GPs means increasing numbers are contemplating a move to private practice.

Dr Shaima Villait

Independent Doctors Feder­ation (IDF) GP committee chair Dr Shaima Villait told the group’s AGM about the effects of the last ‘unstable’ year for those in the health service.

She said: ‘19,000 GPs and GP registrars took part in the BMA referendum on whether to accept the GP contract changes made by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England at the end of March 2024. 99.2% voted “no”.

‘Talks are now underway on the next steps. Our NHS colleagues are overwhelmed, burnt out and have lost faith with the NHS, which has resulted in an increase in GPs joining the independent sector, either entirely or part-time.

‘At the IDF, we are here to support and provide information to help them navigate the process of setting up their practices and we are actively trying to engage with them.’

She said the federation needed to ‘be out there and market’ to get more private GPs to join. There were 323 GP members of the IDF, but a lot more working privately who would benefit from the services provided.

One of the difficulties for the group was it did not know how many private GPs there really were now. She said: ‘Unfortunately we have no idea how many private GPs there are in the UK. The BMA doesn’t know, the Care Quality Commission can’t tell us.’