Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP leaders vote down proposal for struggling practices to go private

GP leaders from across England have voted down a proposal for struggling practices to be supported by the BMA to go private.

The motion, debated at today's England LMCs Conference, said that 'given that a number of GPs feel that they can no longer operate within the NHS' the conference 'calls on GPC England to urgently look at how these GPs can be supported to operate within a private, alternative model'.

Delegates discussing the motion said there had to be an 'honest debate' about models amid Government and CCG underfunding of general practice.

Proposing the motion, Dr Christiane Harris from Bedfordshire LMC said GPs feel like they are on a 'hamster wheel' every day. 

'All this motion is asking is for GPC to support practices who want to explore a future outside the NHS,' they argued.

But Dr Jackie Applebee, from Tower Hamlets LMC, urged delegates to 'please' not vote the motion through.

She said: 'The solution is not to throw the towel in and vote for private practice.'

She argued that it would be a 'betrayal' against the 'principles of the NHS', and that the UK, as the fifth largest economy 'can afford the NHS'.

Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, deputy chair of the BMA's GP Committee, said the motion did not call on practices in general to start charging for services, just that BMA should support practices who choose to make this move.

But he added: 'I must ask conference in view of the message... that this will send out, that you vote against this motion.'

Motion in full

BEDFORDSHIRE: Given that a number of GPs genuinely feel that they can no longer operate within the NHS, conference calls on GPC England to urgently look at how these GPs can be supported to operate within a private, alternative model.

Readers' comments (23)

  • Public opinion has allowed the slow decline of general practice for the last decade. Does it even matter anymore if even more practices are going to close? When will the public support us?

    Every country in the world accepts the need for some healthcare funding outside of taxation. Why is the NHS so special?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The BMA is a political lobby group representing the viewa of it's own professional officers.
    As such this is a perfectly legitimate decision,though one might question the name,possibly a misrepresentation?
    The fundamental question is how many clinical GP's, who do not have another reason,actually freely subscribe.
    Does it any longer possess a mandate?
    On a slightly associated issue,does the BMA have any involvement with consultants doing private work?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/private-practice

    "She argued that it would be a 'betrayal'

    Really!betrayal!strong words,we are talking about the majority of doctors here.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lefties gonna left. #savethecommunistNHScomrades

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well Tom,
    On this occasion they have represented my view and I'm a member. It certainly would betray Bevan's founding principles which was one of the main reasons I chose to become a Dr. When I'm asked to vote for a representative(s) I do. But my view is just as anecdotal as yours and neither of us know what the majority of Drs feel unless they are all asked.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • We all need to be asked we need a vote.ALL OF US

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So Turkeys do vote for Christmas.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cobblers

    If you are going into a negotiation you want the best possible leverage. Ideally you want the other side to know it too. Look up BATNA.

    If conference had sanctioned the option of exloring the private service that would be likely to galvanise HMG responses.

    Now it seems the BMA is hogtied to the NHS hamster wheel and, again, HMG know it too and, no doubt, are laughing themselves silly.

    Never mind, I and many many others have and are voting with their feet and exploring the private option themselves. And I chuckle to myself that I have saved the BMA subs since they kept their powder dry in 1990 when this descent into GP hell began.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think that if BMA delegates voted against this purely on the fact it goes against the principles of the NHS then they are not doing what they are in position for. Almost By definition they are not acting as a union in Drs best interests against a (near) monopoly employer if the cannot consider anything that threatens or opposes the monopoly employers position.

    Indeed if you replace NHS with "Monopoly Employer" above it does rather sound like the BMA represents employers not employees, odd union.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • But Dr Jackie Applebee, from Tower Hamlets LMC, urged delegates to 'please' not vote the motion through.

    She said: 'The solution is not to throw the towel in and vote for private practice.'

    She argued that it would be a 'betrayal' against the 'principles of the Monopoly Employer', and that the UK, as the fifth largest economy 'can afford the Monopoly Employer'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say