LMCs rule out industrial action if no GP pay rise

GPs should not organise protests or take industrial action even if they are facing a fourth year of falling profits, LMCs have warned.

‘It's got to be off the table,’ said Dr Rob Barnett, secretary of Liverpool LMC. ‘The reality is, when a lot of people are losing their jobs, headlines full of GPs bleating about pay will go down like a lead balloon.’

None of the LMC chairs contacted by GP newspaper said that the profession could expect any more than an inflationary funding increase this year. But all agreed it would be the wrong time to take any formal action in protest.

‘Politically it’ll be very difficult to take action at a time when so many of our patients are facing increasing hardship,’ said Dr Gary Calver, medical secretary of Kent LMC. ‘In the private sector wages are likely to go down.’

Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs, said that protests against a poor pay settlement this year were likely to ‘damage the fair degree of public support we normally enjoy.’

But he said that the government would be shooting itself in the foot if it gave GPs a less generous pay rise than other NHS staff. Another year of falling income would make many disengage from new government initiatives such as the vascular screening programme, he said, adding: ‘They need us more than we need them.’

The BMA has demanded a funding uplift of at least 3.5%. The DoH has recommended GPs receive just 1.6 % to cover expenses.

Yesterday we revealed that more than half of partners had reduced profits after three global sum freezes.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

  • Are LMCs right to rule out industrial action if no pay rise?

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