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LMCs push for DES boycott in pay protest

LMCs are preparing for battle over a third successive GP pay freeze, with more than three-quarters prepared to boycott at least one national DES in protest.

But a snapshot survey of committee leaders revealed most were opposed to balloting on industrial action, with only 30% supportive. The BMA leadership has previously warned that GPs would be balloted on industrial action if there was no pay increase next year.

Boycotting the access DES was the most favoured course of action, with 57% of the 14 LMCs surveyed by Pulse saying they would consider this if the pay freeze was imposed. Some 43% said they would be in favour of boycotting Choose and Book, while 36% said they would consider withdrawing support for the Summary Care Record.

The reaction followed the department's submission to the pay review body, requesting that the pay of GPs should be ‘maintained at current levels' meaning ‘no cash or real terms increases that are not directly linked to improvements in the level and quality of services'.

But Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chair, said he remained ‘guardedly optimistic' about pay talks: ‘I don't want to raise the heat when we are negotiating. I think there'll be opportunities for being angry if we have something to be angry about.'

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