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'Several LMCs' to call for mass resignation and industrial action

Exclusive ‘Several’ LMCs will call for mass resignation and industrial action at the special LMC conference next month, Pulse has learnt.

Shropshire LMC – which led the calls for a special conference to discuss the sustainability of general practice – has submitted a motion calling for industrial action, and has said there are ‘several’ LMCs who are doing the same.

Pulse has already reported that former GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden is submitting a motion on industrial action and undated resignation letters through Derbyshire LMC.

But the motion from Shropshire LMCs suggests that there will be a groundswell of support for such measures at the conference on 30 January, if the conference agenda committee puts it in the agenda.

It comes as a Pulse survey this month revealed that half of GPs would be in favour of mass resignation from the GP contract in protest at the state of general practice.

The Shropshire LMC motion says that general practice is in crisis and that it is ‘shameful’ that the policies of successive governments have led to this situation.

The motion ‘requests the GPC to canvass the willingness of GPs to submit their undated resignations if a speedy and appropriate response is not forthcoming.’

It also says ‘the use of sanctions should now be considered and requests that the GPC explores the realistic options for industrial action’.

Shropshire LMC medical secretary Dr Ian Rummens told Pulse: ‘Shropshire LMC initiated the call for a special conference.’

He added: ‘[The motion] is supported by several other LMCs. Inability to recruit means that practices are failing across the country, which in turn risks de-stabilising neighbouring practices and the prospect of meltdown in the very near future.

‘We believe that, unless GPs are prepared to take action, the Government will do nothing until it is too late.’

However, former GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said that industrial action and mass resignation wasn’t the right method to achieve change.

He said: ‘Taking industrial action is not the way to persuade the Government to do what you want to do, which is take the pressure off general practice.

‘The Government and its policies have piled on the pressure and it is important to point that out to the general public, and that is the point of this conference.

‘It is to explain how dangerously near the cliff edge general practice is in this country.’

Motion in full

That Conference:

1) Believes the NHS in general, and General Practice in particular, is in crisis.

2) Views as shameful the failure of successive Governments to recognise and address the issues that have led to this position.

3) Demands the Government urgently implements measures to relieve the intolerable pressures on General Practice.

4) Requests the GPC to canvass the willingness of GPs to submit their undated resignations if a speedy and appropriate response is not forthcoming.

5) Believes the use of sanctions should now be considered and requests that the GPC explores the realistic options for industrial action.

Readers' comments (43)

  • Laurence Buckman, that is an utterly pathetic response, your "idea" of what to do will achieve the square root of zero.

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  • Mass resignation is different from industrial action. The later is trying to force more money from government yet retain an umbilical cord to them for our livelihood. The former would allow us to charge our patients, provide an excellent service for this charge, and would free us from government interference.

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  • Una Coales

    Better late than never... I emailed this BMA emergency motion to a Westminster CCG board member in hopes he would second back in April 2014. His father was on the BMA GPC. He declined to second. I fought so hard to get an emergency motion through the BMA to save the lives of battle-fatigued GP partners. My motion was instead edited and reduced and never accepted. It is a relief to see some LMCs finally put in a long awaited motion on behalf of themselves and their burned out colleagues. Many Generation Y GPs have watched how their seniors at BMA have behaved and have chosen Canada and Australia.

    Emergency Motion Ballot

    Conference asks that GPs be balloted for mass resignation from the NHS GP contract:

    I. In favour of a copayment system like Australia with government providing means tested medicaid and medicare insurance for the poor and elderly/disabled and for the rest to pay per consultation/services.

    ii. With undated resignation letters.

    iii. To save the existence of general practice, which as a profession is threatened with extinction, due to lack of manpower, lack of government funding and lack of workforce recruitment.

    iv. In favour of a contract that allows NHS GPs to offer patients private services for any treatment also available on the NHS so that private income may subsidize and sustain the NHS side to keep surgeries financially viable.

    v. In favour of a contract that pays per consultation and is no longer based on an outdated Carr Hill formula, as removal of MPIG now prevents practices from balancing their books.

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  • Dr Buckman, You advised GPs in Kent and Medway to brace themselves for an impending 'train crash' of the NHS. After this, things will get better as the government will have to give incentives to make things better, you forecast.
    I hope you remember your words because we do.
    The crash has taken its toll but the number of casualties is still rising fast and not just amongst patients- it's the frontline, specialists and even auxiliary healthcare workers who are giving up hope and leaving barren terrain behind.
    Do you seriously think that we should continue to brace ourselves and not take industrial action? If you do, it maybe just better if you took a holiday because you will lose our remaining trust and respect.

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  • Finally the World War 1 officers are realising their troops are being slaughtered. Will they do something about it? Not until WWIII.

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  • Clearly something drastic needs to be done urgently to save general practice.
    But would we be prepared to resign? Mass resignation from the nhs would be bad for patients and bad for the profession. Hunt is that pig headed that he might be prepared to call our bluff.

    The GPC needs very clear goals if they are to threaten mass resignation. "Save general practice or we will resign" is an empty battle cry.

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  • Una Coales

    Well done Dr Mary McCarthy, chair of Shropshire LMC for calling this special measures LMC conference and your LMC motion.

    Well done Derbyshire LMC (your website shows all members as NHS GP partners, not a single locum or salaried) for putting pressure on your treasurer and BMA GPC negotiator Peter Holden to put in a LMC motion on industrial action and undated mass resignation!

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  • Now, now children settled down. You know you always do as you are told in the end.
    Or maybe we could all grow a pair. Don’t threaten to resign, actually resign. Then don’t sign up again until you are happy with what you are signing. GPs are in great demand. We are valuable. We should be as exploitative of the government’s position as it is of us.
    Remember when doctors were respected and earned a decent income?

    Ditch the contract comrades.

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  • The actions at the forthcoming LMC conference will largely depend on the outcome of the junior doctors negotiations. Let us see if they capitulate, DoH gives in, or strike.

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  • We are a well trained MMA fighter and the government is a skinny little nerd with glasses. Why on earth are we not flinging them out of the ring???? Corrupt LMCs, thats why.

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