Industrial Action Latest: New BMA Council chairman key to next pensions industrial action

The man who replaces outgoing BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum will be key to what happens next with pensions industrial action, GP can reveal.

Dr George Rae: GP standing against consultants to be BMA chairman
Dr George Rae: GP standing against consultants to be BMA chairman

According to the BMA around a third of GP practices across the UK took some form of industrial action on Thursday.

BMA pensions committee deputy chairman and GPC Wales chairman Dr David Bailey said the next step for the BMA, following the pensions industrial action, would be a meeting of the Pensions Strategy Board on Sunday.

Following this preliminary meeting BMA Council will meet on Thursday, at the end of this month’s ARM, beginning 25 June, to discuss how the industrial action went and to decide its next steps.

To help make its decision Council will assess information on what effect the action had on patient care, as well as the opinions of GPs who took part in Thursday’s action.

‘We’ll try to collect all that information during the next week,’ Dr Bailey said.

The ARM will vote in a new chairman of Council to replace Dr Hamish Meldrum and it will be up to the new chairman of council to decide how they wish to take negotiations forward.

‘The new chair of council will want to approach the secretary of state for health about this,’ Dr Bailey said.

Earlier this month GP revealed that Tyne and Wear GP Dr George Rae, BMA consultants committee chairman Dr Mark Porter and Professor Michael Rees, Bangor University's director of medical development and chairman of the BMA's academic staff committee, would be standing for the BMA chair role.

It would be possible, Dr Bailey said, for BMA Council to decide to take industrial action again, but in a different way.

‘Legally it’s a possibility…Council could make a decision to alter the form of industrial action.’

Earlier this month GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that some GPs may choose to withdraw from clinical commissioning to express their dissatisfaction with pension reforms.

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