By Ian Quinn
BMA representatives have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion supporting clinical–led commissioning, dismissing fears the Government will seize on the vote to claim support for its reforms.
Tensions ran high at the Special Representative Meeting on the NHS reforms, with some members, including those on the BMA Council, warning that the motion would play into the hands of health secretary Andrew Lansley.
However, GPC council member and GPC member, Dr Helena McKeown, who proposed the motion, said the BMA would be letting down clinicians if it did not express support for GP-led commissioning.
The motion also said the benefits of clinicians taking on commissioning could have been achieved without the need for the Health and Social Care Bill.
Dr McKeown told the meeting: ‘Voting for this and showing we support clinical commissioning is not in support of the proposed legislation.’
‘All of these aspirations can be achieved without the disastrous market-based approach of this legislation. We do not need this £1.8bn re-organisation.’
However, Dr Pamela Martin, a GP in south east London, claimed that the Department of Health would make capital out of the vote. She said: ‘This motion might seduce us to think that the health bill can be modified successfully.
‘I don’t believe you can do that with this bill. It needs to be thrown out completely. If we pass this, we may give the commissioning model support.’
BMA Council member, Dr Clive Peedell said: ‘The idea of it empowering GPs is a nonsense.’
BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said he ‘wholeheartedly’ supported the motion and that BMA members were mistaken to say it sent out the wrong message.
BMA vote supports GP-led commissioning Click here for all our coverage from the meeting SRM Dr Richard Vautrey at the SRM