No one should be in any doubt that we are fighting for the pensions of GPs, just as hard as those of consultants, juniors, future doctors, retired doctors and every other section of the profession.
While a decision has been made not to ballot the profession at this stage, industrial action of some kind remains a definite option in the future. It is too early to make decisions about what form it would take, how a ballot would take place, or who would or would not be balloted. Obviously, we are constrained by law, and will continue to take specialist legal advice about what we can do, but action by GPs remains a possibility.
For the time being, we are working to make sure our members understand what these complex and unfair changes will mean for them, and to feed their views back to the Government. We are also working closely with the other NHS unions, who welcome what we are doing, and will do as much as possible to support the joint day of action on pensions on 30 November.
Finally, there is still a consultation on the plans to hike contributions — to which over a thousand doctors have already responded. We would urge any GP who has not yet done so to make clear their anger directly to the Department of Health.
From Dr Hamish Meldrum
Chair, BMA Council