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BMA meeting: 'Sir Liam must resign'

The BMA's annual representative meeting kicked off in fiery fashion this week with fierce criticism of private firms' involvement in the NHS, calls for an independent board to run the health service – and a demand for the head of chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson.

Opening the conference of more than 500 doctors in Torquay, Dr Sam Everington, acting BMA chair and a GP in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, demanded incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown listen to the profession.

He said: 'Listen to us not because we are doctors but because we have given a lifetime of service to patients.'

The conference called for the resignation of Sir Liam following the proposed changes to professional regulation and the MTAS website debacle.

And delegates backed the BMA's controversial blueprint for the future of the NHS, which would see it run by an independent board of governors. The decision comes after a BMA survey that claimed 60% of the public backed the idea.

Doctors also passed a series of motions demanding strict limits on purchasing NHS care from private companies.

Dr Everington reserved particular criticism for the 'sorry state' of the National Programme for IT. 'Estimated costs of £20bn, the shambles that is Choose and Book, growing concerns about patient confidentiality – it's a wonderful exercise in how not to do things.'

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