Commissioning boycott more 'perverse' than pensions industrial action, says Lansley

GPs boycotting clinical commissioning would be even more 'perverse' than today's industrial action, according to the health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Clinical commissioning groups have the opportunity to deliver the best services for their patients
Clinical commissioning groups have the opportunity to deliver the best services for their patients

Mr Lansley's comments to a group of journalists came after his speech to yesterday’s NHS Confederation’s annual conference in Manchester, where he made a last ditch attempt for the BMA to call off their ‘pointless’ action over pension changes as he claimed it would not change anything.

In the interview, he repeated his warning to the BMA and said: ‘There is not going to be a change because they take industrial action. I have told the BMA that.’

He said today’s action runs the risk of damaging services for patients but said if any future action included doctors boycotting commissioning, then it could damage care in the long term.

He said: ‘I think it would be even more perverse if it is possible than the current action because the current action has the risk of damaging services for patients. Not engaging in clinical commissioning risks damaging services for patients for a long time to come. And it is not about me. They have through clinical commissioning groups the opportunity to deliver the best services for their patients. Why would they not want to do so? And I cant imagine why anybody would want to do it, and if they were to do it I think the public would say: "hang on a minute, your responsibility and your motivation is to look after patients and deliver the best services to patients and this dispute is about your personal self-interest, why are you putting your interests ahead of the interests of your patients?"'

This comes after LMCs narrowly voted through a motion to include boycotting clinical commissioning as part of industrial action on pension changes, at last month’s LMCs conference in Liverpool.

  • Follow news reporter Marina Soteriou's live coverage of the NHS Confederation conference today on Twitter @Marina_Soteriou #confed2012
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