Commissioning is new target of pension protest

GPs may withdraw from commissioning in protest over pension reforms if a proposal for such action is passed by BMA members this month.

Dr Nagpaul: GPs may withdraw from commissioning of their own accord
Dr Nagpaul: GPs may withdraw from commissioning of their own accord

But GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said GPs were likely to withdraw from it of their own accord in frustration over pension reforms.

At this month’s BMA annual representatives meeting (ARM) in Bournemouth, Dorset, GPs will vote on a motion to withdraw from NHS commissioning until an agreement is reached on proposed changes to the NHS pension scheme.

A similar motion was passed by a narrow margin at last month’s UK conference of LMCs.

To withdraw from commissioning, GPs would not participate in any work relating to clinical commissioning group (CCG) development and activities, such as attending meetings.

Dr Nagpaul said such action was not part of the BMA’s plan for industrial action ‘at the moment’. But he said the GPC and BMA council would consider all motions passed at the LMCs and ARM conferences.

He added that GPs were likely to withdraw from commissioning of their own accord. ‘The NHS reforms in England are entirely dependent on the goodwill of GPs,’ he said.

‘One consequence of the government’s enforcement of pension changes will inevitably result in the loss of goodwill.

‘It’s very likely this will impact on the level of engagement of GPs in CCGs.’

GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey said GPs could create problems for themselves if they withdrew from commissioning. ‘If you withdraw from commissioning you leave the field open to people who don’t have practice concerns at heart,’ he said.

Other motions to be debated at the ARM call for health secretary Andrew Lansley to resign, and for a funding strategy for remediation to be introduced ahead of the implementation of revalidation.

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