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09-06-2011 | General practice | Article

LMCs rule out GP ballot


BMA Local Medical Committees Annual Conference

BMA GP leaders have ruled out balloting members on their attitude to joining commissioning consortia.

And, despite agreeing that the Government's Health Bill poses "the greatest threat to the NHS since its inception", Local Medical Committees (LMCs) representatives rejected a proposal that GPs should no longer co-operate with introducing the reforms.

The motion debated at the LMCs Annual Conference called for the GPs Committee (GPC) to "ballot all GPs in England as to whether they are happy to be in GP commissioning consortia".

Proposer Dr Simon Hodson, from Shropshire LMC, described the impact of the sudden disintegration of his local Primary Care Trust and said that GPs should no longer stand by as the Government pushes through the reforms.

"Now is the time to ask grassroots GPs directly, in a formal ballot, whether they support the formation of these GP consortia," he said.

But GPC Chair Dr Laurence Buckman said that these actions, in the middle of a listening exercise, "would send a very strange message" to the Government.

He added that it would be unwise to withdraw co-operation while negotiations are ongoing. With Primary Care Trusts "imploding" and "nascent consortia already hard at work", it could make the situation worse, said Buckman.

He also urged delegates to reject a ballot on the basis that extensive BMA surveys have already collated GPs' opinions.

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Caroline Price