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Gerada hits back at critics who told her to ‘settle down’ over health bill

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada has hit back at critics who have accused her of ‘scaremongering' and being ‘inconsistent' in her battle against the NHS reforms.

Addressing the BMA's London Regional Council last night, Dr Gerada said she had 15 years of experience in commissioning and remained staunch in her views despite having been told by some to ‘settle down and encourage the bill' during meetings.

Her comments came as BMA members overwhelmingly backed a motion which ‘wholeheartedly endorsed' the RCGP's call for the Bill to be withdrawn, and called on other medical royal colleges to ‘follow their lead'.

Dr Gerada told the audience at BMA House in central London: ‘On a personal level, it's been incredibly difficult. I've been to so many meetings where I've been told I'm talking rubbish, scaremongering, and that I should settle down and encourage this bill and the world would be a better place.'

‘I was chair of one of the largest commissioning groups in England called SLUGG, chair of our practice based commissioning group, and chair of Lambeth LMC. I haven't been a shrinking violet, I have been there in a political arena and commissioning arena for nigh on 15 years. So I knew what I was talking about.'

‘Far from Simon Burns telling me I'm inconsistent or confused, I think the message has been the same since last November. To those GPs who doubt a royal college can stand up and be counted, I can only do what I've done because the College has supported me. Most GPs do not want this, most think it is a terrible distraction.'

Dr Jacky Davis, consultant radiologist in North London and member of BMA London regional council, said it would be a ‘travesty of justice' if the Bill was passed given the scale of opposition, and called on other doctors to lobby their royal college to join the RCGP in calling for the Bill's withdrawal via the ‘Call On Your College' website she has set up.

Dr Davis said: ‘We can defeat this bill. The other colleges were meant come out last week, [but] they are more afraid of the DH than of their members. We pay their subs, we've got to make them afraid of us.'

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