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Senior GP commissioner quits over pension changes

A senior GP commissioner has resigned from his CCG in protest at the Government's pensions reforms.

It comes as the BMA announced plans to debate withdrawing en masse from commissioning over pensions, with a motion tabled for debate at the association's Annual Representative Meeting in Bournemouth later this month.

Dr Prit Buttar, a GP in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and former GPC member, has resigned from his role as deputy locality lead for Oxfordshire CCG, claiming he had become ‘utterly disengaged' because of his dissatisfaction with the enforced changes to GPs' pensions.

Dr Buttar, who will be taking part in the day of action on 21 June, said he ‘bitterly resented' having to take the decision and warned the Government it should expect more commissioning enthusiasts to lose heart because of the pension changes.

He said: ‘I have resigned from that post because, given how disaffected I am feeling, I did not think I could go round asking other people to engage when I'm feeling utterly disengaged. I bitterly resent being put in this position.

‘At a time when the Government needs engagement of GPs like no other time before, it strikes me as curious to pick a fight with the entire profession.'

The resignation comes after LMC leaders backed a call last month to include disengagement from commissioning in any industrial action over the Government's pension reforms.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA Council member and a GP in Stanmore, north-west London, said: ‘We would consider any vote. The Government should be warned if it damages the goodwill of English GPs, one of the casualties is likely to be disengagement in commissioning as a consequence.

‘It's a very real risk. The implementation of what are clearly blatantly unfair pension reforms is likely to damage that goodwill.'

The move comes as the chair of the Conservative Health Society admitted even Tory-supporting medics were turning against the Government over pensions.

Dr Paul Charlson, a GP in East Yorkshire, said there was ‘resentment' among active Conservative supporters about the reforms: ‘There is a general feeling that this was all sorted not so long ago and that the current pension is fair compared with other civil servants.'