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20.05.16

GPs vote to ballot on strikes following ‘inadequate’ Forward View

GPs have rejected an NHS England strategy designed to relieve the pressures on their surgeries and agreed to ballot the profession on potential strike action.

The motion, proposed by Tower Hamlets Local Medical Committee (LMC) and passed today at the British Medical Association (BMA) LMC conference, calls the review “not an adequate response” and “grounds for a trade dispute”.

It says that the BMA GP committee will ask the union to ballot the profession over the possibility of striking and signing undated resignations, unless the government accepts the Urgent Prescription for General Practice previously put forward by the BMA.

The Prescription for General Practice recommends that the government deliver a comprehensive rescue package for GP services.

The much-anticipated General Practice Forward View, published by the NHS in April to try to meet pressures on GPs including staffing shortages and increased patient demand, promised new funding and recruitment initiatives.

Dr Michelle Drage, chief executive of the London LMCs, told the conference the GP Forward View was “a distraction” that would not solve the problems facing the sector.

The most up-to-date data available, from the King’s Fund, shows that in 2010-15 the number of GP consultations increased by 15% but the GP workforce only grew by 4.75%.

The vote raises the spectre of a return to unprecedented doctors’ strikes, just as the government and junior doctors finally reached an agreement in their long-running contract dispute this week.

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