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BMA drafts in Bogle to take control of contract talks

The BMA has drafted in its chair Dr Ian Bogle to take control of negotiations on the GP contract amid fears that the association faces oblivion in the event of a No vote.

In a frantic attempt to save the association from a second humiliation in the wake of consultants' rejection of their contract, the BMA council voted by 32 votes to one for Dr Bogle to get 'fully involved' in the increasingly desperate attempts to secure a Yes vote from GPs.

Dr Bogle, who attended last week's special LMCs

conference at which negotiators were sent back to the drawing board, told Pulse his primary role would be to 'look after the interests of the BMA'.

He said he would not attend every negotiators' meeting, but would be 'involved in discussions with GPC chair Dr John Chisholm and his team on a daily basis, advising where necessary'.

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said Dr Bogle would have an 'intimate watching brief' over negotiations.

BMA council member Dr Keith Brent, who proposed the motion, said: 'The BMA has taken some significant damage over the fallout from the consultants' contract debacle and can't afford for it to happen again. For a long time it looked as if the GP contract negotiations were going smoothly but they've hit some very significant rocks.'

He said Dr Chisholm ­ a council member ­ did not oppose the motion.

Fellow council member Dr Rob Barnett, a GP in Liverpool, said: 'Some people were concerned the negotiators were working to timetables that might not have been realistic. The council had a responsibility to make sure the GPC didn't go off and do their own thing, which could potentially bring the profession into disrepute.

'At the end of the day, if we don't deliver on this it does bring into question everything that's going on within the

association.'

news

The BMA took urgent steps to avert humiliation over the GP contract as GPC negotiators were given a rough ride at the special LMCs conference last week ­ Rob Gough and Nerys Hairon report

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