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GPs back down on no confidence vote on Gordon Brown

GP leaders have shied away from a ‘no confidence' motion in Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a dramatic early vote at the LMC's conference.

The conference backed a more conciliatory attitude towards the Government, voting for a move away from the 'them and us' mentality between GPs and ministers.

The motion was the first no confidence vote to be levelled at a sitting Prime Minister in the history of the LMC conference, but voting was suspended after GPC chair Laurence Buckman intervened to say it could backfire on GPs.

Proposing the motion, Dr Phil Dommett, a GP in Cornwall, urged GPs to express their concern over the way the profession had been ‘denigrated and run down' by ministers.

‘Virtually non-one has confidence in Gordon Brown, including Gordon Brown himself,' he said.

Dr Buckman responded by asking the conference not to make a personal attack on the Prime Minister and to move on to next business.

'It will damage our prospects of making this incredibly difficult government listen to us,' he said.

Dr Buckman's suggestion was supported.

LMC's voted for a motion supporting 'a change in atmosphere' between GPs and government and promoting more co-operation.

Proposing this motion, Dr Georgina Brown, a GP in Glasgow, said politicians found the NHS ‘daunting' and urged

‘Let's break down a few barriers. Our patients are their constituents and we want the same things. The ethos of their job is quite similar to ours,' she said.

Dr Buckman echoed this in his address to the conference, urging the Government to work with GPs and stop playing politics with the NHS.

'My message to the government this year is: we showed you last year that we can mobilise our patients to support us. You made a big mistake in trying to fool the public about what you were doing to their NHS. Why don't you just work with us?' he said.

Although he was less concilitory about the introduction of the GP patient survey, criticising it as 'rubbish and a waste of money'.

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