BMA will work with DoH on White Paper review

The BMA is to adopt a policy of 'constructive engagement' in its response to the White Paper consultation, GP leaders say.

Dr Watson: BMA will work with DoH (Photograph: Wilde Fry)

On Thursday, the GPC met for the last time before the White Paper consultation period ends to discuss the BMA's response to the proposed NHS reforms.

The BMA has produced a series of papers in response to the consultation that will be published in the coming weeks.

GPC member Dr Nigel Watson said there were 'bits of the White Paper we would strongly support' but also areas that needed more detail.

GPC members were not going to vote on whether they support or oppose the plans, said Dr Watson. He added that any decision to ballot the profession as a whole over support for the White Paper plans would only be taken when clear proposals are laid before the GPC.

Agreeing to work constructively with the government was 'perfectly appropriate at this stage' said GPC member and president of the Medical Practitioners Union Dr Ron Singer. Any formal opposition to specific aspects of the policy are likely to come later, he said.

'The BMA has prepared papers in its response and it's fairly straightforward. The response is one of constructive engagement. There is a long way to go before we see the final details and take up a position on what we might oppose.'

Dr Singer said the BMA still officially opposes the commercialisation of the NHS, amid fears the White Paper could worsen this.

The GPC set out views on how consortia should be organised in its recent report GP Commissioning: Initial Observations (GP, 17 September)

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