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21-05-2012 | Article

LMCs warn of NHS reform risks


LMC 2012

GPs have again voiced grave concerns over the NHS reforms at the BMA's Local Medical Committees (LMCs) Annual Conference being held in Liverpool.

Delivering his keynote speech, BMA GPs Committee Chairman (GPC) Dr Laurence Buckman warned that contrary to the Government's rhetoric on handing power to GPs, most are being sidelined in the development of CCGs.

And as the NHS heads towards "operational and financial meltdown" and GPs come under increasing regulation and "bullying micromanagement", Dr Buckman said that many family doctors were becoming disillusioned and walking away.

He said that although CCGs are progressing "positively" in some areas of England, others are imposing structures that are "unacceptable" - and that GPs must stand up to this.

Delegates overwhelmingly voted in favour of key motions condemning the Health and Social Act and the increasing involvement of the private sector, but there seemed to be less fervour for tough action.

Dr Gerard Reissmann (Newcastle and North Tyneside LMC) failed to convince delegates that GP practices should consider withdrawing from involvement in CCGs.

And the BMA leadership escaped reprimand for failing to recognise the most damaging aspects of the reforms sooner.

Launching a staunch defence of the BMA's strategy, Chair of BMA Council Dr Hamish Meldrum urged delegates to move on and stop any "infighting or squabbling".

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price