GPC slammed over handling of spin

LMC members heavily criticised GP leaders over their response to anti-GP spin, but stopped short of backing motions condemning the BMA’s effectiveness.

Dr Stephen Amiel, Camden and Islington LMC member
Dr Stephen Amiel, Camden and Islington LMC member

On the second morning of the 2007 LMCs conference, LMCs voted for a motion claiming that ‘there is a government inspired negative propaganda campaign against general practice’. The spin is aimed at paving the way for the privatisation of general practice, LMCs agreed.

LMCs also backed a motion calling for a review of the BMA’s ‘propaganda machinery’ to ensure it was fit for purpose.

Many GPs felt the GPC and BMA response had been weak. Bedfordshire LMC member Dr Tony Heslop said there was ‘widespread anger at grassroots level at the BMA’s ineffective response’. He said: ‘In view of the poor response we need a proper PR campaign to counter the DoH spin.’

Camden and Islington LMC member Dr Stephen Amiel said it was ‘a statement of fact’ that the GPC and BMA’s response had been inadequate. ‘They have not done enough. Resources should be found to bang the drum in a way that cannot be ignored. I think people would pay more in their levies to support that.’

South Staffordshire LMC member Dr Greg Butler hit out at GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum as he called for the GPC to be replaced by professional negotiators: ‘We need to get away from jolly nice doctors representing the profession. We need tough, professional full-time negotiators, experts in big business prepared to lead from the front,’ he said.

‘I thought the GPC chairman said last year that he would resign if there was no pay rise. Why hasn’t he?’

However, LMCs rejected a motion declaring ‘serious concerns about the effectiveness of the BMA/GPC as a trade union’.

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