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BMA calls crisis conference to prevent health service ‘collapse’

The BMA will hold a special representative meeting to discuss the deepening crisis facing the NHS.

Members of the BMA Council called for the ‘extraordinary’ conference, which will take place on 3 May in London, at a meeting today.

BMA council member and Lancashire GP Dr David Wrigley tweeted from the meeting, saying that UK doctors saw the NHS ‘collapsing’.

Dr Wrigley told Pulse: ‘The BMA council discussed the parlous state of the NHS due to the year-on-year funding cuts –- something which is a political choice made by this Government.

‘This extraordinary meeting will discuss the crisis in the NHS and attempt to come up with solutions, challenging our politicians to step in and rescue the NHS from collapse.’

BMA council member Dr Allyson Pollock, a medical academic, said in a tweet that the meeting would ‘highlight [the] NHS crisis in England and implications for UK public and patient[s]’.

A BMA spokesperson said: ‘I can confirm that a special representative meeting will be taking place and we will confirm further details in due course.’

The news follows the Special LMC Conference held by GP leaders in January, where GPs voted on potential mass resignations unless the Government produce a credible rescue package for general practice.

The BMA’s row with the Government escalates

The news of the special meeting comes as the BMA remains embroiled in a dispute with the Government over the imposition of the junior doctor contract, which has led to a series of strike actions over the past three months.

The BMA is bringing a judicial review to question whether the contract will be safe for patients but health secretary Jeremy Hunt has already declared that this is ‘bound to fail’.

Mr Hunt has said the contract imposition is necessary to ensure the rollout of safe and sustainable seven-day access to hospital treatment, but the BMA has in turn argued that it will overwork junior doctors and lead to more mistakes.

It also comes as BMA chair Dr Mark Porter condemned the lack of new investment in NHS services in today’s budget announcement as ‘disgraceful’.

According to Dr Porter, ‘the Government’s funding promises have simply not materialised’.