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Rebels rebuked as BMA Council pledges Meldrum ‘full support’ on health bill

BMA Council members have delivered a vote of confidence in embattled chair Dr Hamish Meldrum, fully endorsing his handling of the health bill and warning senior BMA rebels to observe ‘principles of collective responsibility'.

At its meeting today, the BMA Council ‘expressed its full support' for Dr Meldrum's leadership, after an unprecedented vote of censure from BMA London last week accusing him of failing to adequately promote  members' views and campaign for the withdrawal of the health bill.

The BMA said it had now agreed 'next steps' in its policy on the health bill and planned a 'programme of lobbying, local events and further campaigning activity to highlight doctors' major concerns'.

Pulse revealed yesterday Dr Meldrum would move a vote to 'back me or sack me' in an effort to hit back at his opponents and 'flush out' his critics on BMA Council.

Sources told Pulse that Dr Meldrum was ‘furious' at the censure, not least because the motion was tabled by Dr Anna Athow, a fellow member of BMA Council. The BMA today warned Council members to observe ‘principles of collective responsibility' in order to avoid bringing the BMA ‘into disrepute'.

Dr Meldrum said: ‘The clear view of BMA Council is that the Health and Social Care Bill remains deeply flawed and should be withdrawn or at the very least significantly amended.'

‘The BMA will continue to publicly and vigorously highlight the concerns of doctors and patients, particularly to peers who have a real opportunity to protect the NHS by addressing the damage that could be done by many aspects of these reforms.'



In full: the BMA motion

'BMA Council expresses its full support for its chairman, Dr Hamish Meldrum. In particular, Council fully endorses the way he has handled the BMA's policy on the Health and Social Care Bill as set out in motions passed at the 2011 SRM, ARM and Council at its meeting on 20 July 2011.'

‘BMA Council, while encouraging robust debate within the Council chamber, reaffirms the vital importance of Council members acting within good corporate governance, observing accepted principles of collective responsibility, in order to prevent bringing the association into disrepute and diminishing the effectiveness of Council and the association in implementing policy.'