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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.