No confidence in Hewitt

LMCs voted unanimously in favour of a motion of no confidence in Patricia Hewitt this morning.

Dr Eric Rose
Dr Eric Rose

Tabling the motion in front of a raucous auditorium at the LMCs Conference in London, former conference chairman Dr Eric Rose said: 'This was the party that created the NHS, whose party election slogan was '10 days to save the NHS'. But ten years later the reality is that a golden opportunity has been wasted.

'This government pays too much attention to Downing Street policy advisers who have never worked in the health service, and displays all the hall marks of the worst dictatorship.'

Dr Rose launched a scathing tirade against a raft of what he sees as government failures and poorly thought out policy to cheers from the floor.

He said that the government is now trying to cover its tracks with its spin machine churning out negative press for GPs to divert attention away from Whitehall.

A note of caution was voiced by Gwent GP Dr Michael Griffiths who urged the conference to vote against the motion in case Gordon Brown decides to keep Ms Hewitt in the job in defiance against GPs. Bridges should not be burned he said, leaving GPs with no bargaining chips for future pay and contract negotiations.

However, GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum assured the conference that regardless of how they voted his hands would not 'be tied in negotiations with the DoH'.

A second part of the motion - no confidence in the UK government's handling of the NHS was also carried unanimously.

Read more views on the LMCs conference in our Editors' blog.

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