Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the British Medical Association (BMA)


  The BMA is a voluntary professional association of doctors, and their trade union, which promotes the science of medicine and maintains the honour and interests of the medical profession. With over 123,000 members, it represents around 80 per cent of the medical profession in the UK. The BMA is also a scientific and educational body and a publishing house.


  The GPC is a BMA committee with authority to deal with all matters affecting NHS GPs. It represents all doctors in general practice, whether they are independent contractors or salaried, principals or non-principals, working under Part II or Part I of the NHS Acts and whether or not they are a member of the BMA.

  The committee is recognised as the sole negotiating body for general practice by the Department of Health.


  The GPC and the Royal College of General Practitioners in December 1999 issued the following joint policy statement on the care of patients who are substance abusers:

    "The RCGP and GPC believe that general practitioners should offer appropriate care to all patients on their lists. Where patients have problems with substance abuse, appropriate care will include aspects of primary care normally provided by the practice primary health care team, shared care with other care services and referral to other appropriate services. Certain GPs may develop particular expertise in the care of substance abusers, and the number and location of these doctors should, ideally, be sufficient to prevent substantial workload falling onto only a few GPs. In supporting the development of this expertise, the health departments must ensure the provision of appropriate training in this field; facilitate professional support; resource the adequate provision of support services, including specialist services and offer appropriate additional remuneration for this work".

January 2002

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