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BMA spends £300,000 on PR campaign

By Steve Nowottny

The BMA's 'Support Your Surgery' campaign cost at least £300,000, it emerged this week.

The campaign, widely viewed as a success after it collected more than 1.2 million patient signatures of support in just two and a half weeks, included a series of high-profile adverts in six national newspapers last month.

The association also sent campaign packs to every practice in the country, including posters and literature warning patients that their local surgery could be forced out of business as a result of the English Government's polyclinics and privatisation agenda.

GPC leaders, who have previously warned that advertising in the national press would be prohibitively expensive, had refused to disclose how much this year's campaign had cost.

But Dr David Pickersgill, BMA Treasurer and a retired GP, gave the figure after he was questioned by delegates at the BMA's Annual Representatives' Meeting in Edinburgh today.

The total cost of the campaign had been 'around £300,000', he said, with two thirds contributed by the BMA, and the remaining £100,000 from the General Practitioners Defence Fund.

Last year the Department of Health spent £77m on advertising, marketing and communications.

PR battle: BMA campaign ended at Number 10 PR battle: BMA campaign ended at Number 10

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