The BMA has voted to consider the option of withdrawing from the clinical commissioning process in protest at the Government’s pensions reforms.
The vote came despite opposition from BMA leaders who warned it would leave the profession disengaged from the changes going on in the NHS.
Delegates at the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting called on its leaders to continue with further industrial action and voted to support a motion that said ‘options for further action should include withdrawing from clinical commissioning activity’.
They also voted for the possibility of withdrawal of labour in secondary care with emergency cover, with different branches of practice carrying out different forms of industrial action.
BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said that this should only be voted ‘in reference’ – meaning it should not become official policy.
He warned that the profession would be disengaged from the NHS reforms if it boycotted the process, leaving only the strong advocates of commissioning to shape the reforms.
However, the conference voted it in as policy, meaning BMA Council will be required to consider such action.