BMA backs call for opposition to APMS

The BMA and GPC will actively oppose APMS contracts - against the wishes of LMCs - after doctors at the BMA's annual conference in Torquay backed the stance.

LMC leaders voted against a motion calling for the BMA and GPC to oppose APMS. But two-thirds of doctors at the BMA-wide meeting backed the motion last week, making it official BMA policy.

Devon GP Dr Beth McCarron-Nash told the conference it was unacceptable for doctors' leaders to 'lie down and accept that APMS is inevitable'.

'I want the BMA and GPC to stand up for future members and GPs. Otherwise many GPs in future may not be able to get jobs apart from in supermarkets doing tick-box medicine,' she said.

Dr McCarron-Nash said she could not accept letting her patients think she was party to allowing the NHS to be sold off.

Lancaster GP Dr David Wrigley said young doctors were worried about APMS.

'Dr Meldrum has said he is worried about the lack of partnerships - APMS will increase this problem,' he said. 'We should incentivise GPs to take over practices that are vacant, not bring in private companies.'

Outgoing GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said APMS should only be used when the NHS and traditional GPs could not provide an alternative. 'But when they can't or won't, I don't think we can leave patients high and dry,' he said.

Acting BMA chairman, Dr Sam Everington backed Dr Meldrum's stance.

But doctors backed the motion after Dr McCarron-Nash argued this was a 'John Wayne moment' for the BMA. 'I think it is fundamentally wrong not to oppose the privatisation of the NHS.'

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