This site is intended for health professionals only

GP refuseniks warn industrial action could prove ‘disastrous’

The BMA’s industrial action over pensions is a ‘travesty’ and could end up causing more harm than good, say prominent GPs who are refusing to take part on the 21 June.

The GPs say they will not be taking part as the action risks patient safety and the form of action proposed is not the right way to protest over pensions.

Dr James Kingsland, clinical commissioning network lead at the Department of Health and a GP in Wirral, said he would not be taking industrial action and that he had concerns over patient safety.

‘I am not sure what the impact is going to be of that action,’ he said. ‘There could be as much damage as good coming out of it.’

He added. ‘I would like to think that wasn’t going to be compromised through this action and this action is to raise awareness and not compromise patient safety – that would be disastrous.’

Dr Kingsland added that the profession did need a voice and he did ‘not feel entirely comfortable’ that pensions were being reviewed. ‘But I don’t think the industrial action as a result is the right action.’

Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, a GP in Hackney, North East London, and a leading critic of the Government’ health reforms said he also would not be taking part as it had the potential to be a ‘PR disaster’, although he would be putting out posters and leaflets to explain their opposition to the pensions reforms for patients.

He said on Twitter: ‘I think the pensions issue is a travesty. But how many of those striking did anything about the NHS bill? Two wrongs don’t make a right. I’m afraid it’s going to be a PR disaster.’

‘I cannot tell my patients I’m striking over pensions when I stopped short of chaining myself naked and feathered outside Richmond House.’

Dr Mike Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, also said he would not be taking industrial action although he could see the action from ‘both sides’.

‘I won’t be taking part in the industrial action because I feel it is unreasonable for me to be partisan in this. I can see the argument from both sides.’