LMCs pass 'no confidence' vote in ministers

LMCs conference 2008 Backing for GPC, premises investment failure slammed and Darzi's impact on GPs.

The government was sent a clear message of 'no confidence' by delegates at the LMCs conference this year.

GPs also expressed their support for GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman, undermining claims by health secretary Alan Johnson that the committee no longer represents its members.

Motions of no confidence were passed against Mr Johnson and health minister Lord Ara Darzi, despite the GPC leader appealing against personal attacks.

'We don't do personal,' Dr Buckman said. 'I hate the policy, but he is doing his job, delivering policy for his government. I counsel some caution before attacking him personally.'

But Buckinghamshire LMC member Dr Eric Rose countered: 'To say it is his job is not an excuse. When someone bullies me into choosing from two bad options and bullies me into retirement, it is personal.'

Following claims from the health secretary that the BMA did not represent its members, GPs were keen to show their support for the GPC chairman.

As well as a standing ovation for his opening speech, GPs stood again to applaud Dr Buckman during a debate on the GPC's negotiating skills. Dr Nev Bradley, of Wirral LMC, had urged delegates to 'stand up and applaud Laurence for having the guts to stand up for us'.

A motion calling for the GPC to bring in professional negotiators was lost by a large majority.

Defending his record, Dr Buckman said there was nothing more the GPC could do to prevent the imposition of extended hours 'short of taking industrial action'. 'We don't believe we have the mandate to do that,' he said.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com.

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