GPs given template letter to alert PCOs to pensions industrial action.

The BMA has drawn up a template letter for GPs to send to their primary care organisations (PCOs) ahead of pensions industrial action on 21 June.

The letter, to be addressed to the chief executive of each practice’s relevant PCO, gives details on why GPs are taking action. It says: ‘The BMA is taking this step reluctantly and even now would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution. 

‘Its decision to call a day of action reflects just how let down doctors feel by the governments’ unwillingness to find a fairer approach to the latest pension changes and their refusal to acknowledge the major reforms of 2008 that made the NHS scheme sustainable in the long term.’

The letter will be customised for individual practices, and explain what will happen if either the whole practice decides to take industrial action, or if individual GPs decide to take action.

On 21 June practices taking action will be open for the same hours as normal and GPs will attend work as usual, the letter said.

Any patient who is or believes themselves to be in need of urgent or emergency care from a GP or nurse will be seen. GPs will also deal with urgent administration.

However routine appointments will not be available and that the participating GPs would not be undertaking clinical or administrative work that can safely be postponed, the letter said.

Where individual GPs are taking part, not the whole practice, the guidance is slightly different.

The practice completing the letter will indicate the number of individual GPs taking part on the day. The letter explained that GPs not taking part in the action will be working as normal.

GPs who are taking part will see any patient who is or believes themselves to be in need of emergency care and will deal with urgent administration. 

‘However, routine appointments will not be available from participating GPs on the day and they will not be undertaking clinical or administrative work that can safely be postponed,’ the letter said.

Any planned action by GPs would be well publicised to their patients using posters, leaflets and our practice website, the letter said.

Under trade union law employers must be given seven days' notice of intent to take part in industrial action, so practices should ensure their PCO receives the letter by 14 June.

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