The BMA is the clear winner of this award, for its ill-fated ‘Day of Action’ on pensions in June. The GP pensions dispute dominated much of 2012, with the BMA spending most of the first half of the year agonising over whether to stage the first industrial action by doctors in almost 40 years – and much of the second half of the year apologising for it being such a disaster. Pulse made national headlines when we revealed just one in four practices planned to take part – in the end, official figures showed just one GP in 10 went to the barricades.
A runner-up’s award goes to the Government’s long-awaited practice boundary pilots. The idea was to give patients a much wider choice of where to register – but the implementation appeared to be a triumph of hope over experience. Research commissioned by NHS managers suggested as many as 120,000 commuters could register in the City of London alone. Three months in, the number of patients choosing to register in all six pilot areas was, er, 12.