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‘Legislative minefield’ forces BMA to postpone roadshows on pensions industrial action

Exclusive: The BMA has been forced to dramatically shelve its series of pensions roadshows just three days before GPs were due to begin hearing options for industrial action.

The events, which were due to begin in Bristol on Monday, had been scheduled to give GPs across the UK the chance to ask questions about the BMA's plans for industrial action and receive further details on the timetable for balloting members.

But the association said today it had been forced to postpone the events due to the ‘legislative minefield' surrounding the ballot.

A BMA spokesman said the association was still planning to announce the timescale for the ballot ‘by the end of this month'.

In a statement, the BMA said: ‘Planning for the first industrial action by doctors in almost 40 years is extremely challenging. Given our commitment to protect patient safety and the legislative minefield that we have to navigate, it is vital that the plans for action we will be asking members to take are as robust as possible before they are shared.

‘Despite a huge amount of work having been done as part of an evolving process, there are still some complex issues that have to be resolved.'

Pulse revealed earlier this week that the Department of Health plans to unilaterally impose the first in a series of planned hikes in pension contributions from 1 April, ahead of the BMA ballot.