GPs rally around BMA chairman ahead of censure vote discussion

GPs have moved to back BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum, after a regional council criticised him for not promoting doctors' calls for the Health Bill to be withdrawn.

GPs have rallied around Dr Hamish Meldrum
GPs have rallied around Dr Hamish Meldrum
BMA London Regional Council almost unanimously passed a motion that proposed a ‘vote of censure’ in Dr Meldrum at a meeting last week. The vote will now be discussed at the main BMA council meeting today.

But ahead of the discussion, GPs have rallied around Dr Hamish Meldrum, outlining that London Regional Council is alone in its criticism.

GPC member and Essex LMCs chairman Dr Brian Balmer said he is ‘astonished’ doctors have criticised Dr Meldrum, outlining that he is doing a ‘good job under very difficult circumstances’.

He said the Eastern Regional Council, which met on Tuesday, fully supports Dr Meldrum and his approach to the Health Bill and will ‘completely disassociate’ itself from comments made by the London Council.

He said: ‘By definition we would oppose any censure motion. We totally support Hamish – as far as I am aware London is the only one talking in this way.  Personally I am astonished that someone attacks our chairman at a time when the profession and the NHS are under attack.

‘I’m not a big fan of the Health Bill myself, but some people are blinded by their fanatical opposition to it, and lashing out in any direction.’

Dr Prakash Chandra, chairman of Newham LMC in east London, also said Dr Meldrum has gone a ‘good job’ and should not be forced to step down.

He said: ‘We are very supportive of Dr Meldrum and he generally does talk sense. We feel that Dr Meldrum is under pressure at times [from all the specialities within the BMA] and he is trying to make a balance, which sometimes is difficult.

‘In terms of GPs in east London there isn’t any problem of a lack of support for Dr Meldrum.’

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