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#GPnews: Unite union slams GPC for ditching industrial action plans

14:50 The Unite union today ‘expressed dismay’ over the GPC’s decision not to hold a ballot of GPs on industrial action ’despite the move receiving overwhelming backing at May’s LMC Conference’.

The call to consult GPs on whether they would be prepared to take different forms of industrial action not in breach of their contracts comes as GPs become increasingly overwhelmed with their workload which in turn is hitting patient care. 

Dr Jackie Applebee, one of the union’s two representatives on the GPC, and who proposed the motion, said: ’How can GPC leaders or anyone else think that GPs will get anything meaningful amidst the massive NHS cuts?

’The overwhelming vote in favour of a consultative ballot at the LMC conference shows the strength of feeling amongst LMC delegates from all over the country.  No one wants to take industrial action, but if not now when? How bad does it have to get? The vote showed that GPs have had enough of talking and want to be consulted on action.”

Dr Ron Singer, retiring president of Doctors in Unite and a former GP, said: ’DiU is confident that there are ways of taking industrial action which would not prompt a breach of contract. 

’A basket of measures that GPs can choose from to try to reduce their workload, as suggested in the BMA document “Responsive, Safe and Sustainable: Our Urgent Prescription for General Practice”, is helpful but leaves the onus on individual practices. A single coordinated act, in the interests of patient safety would be much more effective.’

11:40 Junior doctors are proposing to go on strike for a week every month for the rest of the year, according to the Daily Mail.

The paper claims that they would walk out from 8am to 5pm for five straight days from 12 September, according to leaked papers.

The Government imposed a contract that was voted down by junior doctors. It had been agreed with BMA negotiators.

A BMA spokesperson said: ’Junior doctors have been clear in their rejection of Jeremy Hunt’s imposed contract. It should come as no surprise that BMA Council are discussing the issue of further industrial action. But at this stage, no decisions have been made.’

9:30 A GP’s blog, published after she died, has warned of the difficulties doctors face in getting treatment for themselves after she was labelled a ’hypochondriac’. 

The essay by Dr Lisa Steen, published on, was written just before she died from a rare form of kidney cancer in February. She was diagnosed in July 2014, but the cancer had already spread. 

It describes her anger at colleagues for failing to help identify the disease, the Guardian reports.

She wrote: ’I do not know how long I’ll live. It probably won’t be for many weeks. But right now I am glad to be alive. I am grateful for the expensive drug which is holding back the cancer.

’I am angry at being left in the medically unexplained wilderness and I did not like the way my colleagues looked at me, when they believed me to have health anxiety.’

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