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BMA rejects boycotting clinical commissioning

25 June 2012

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BMA members have voted against balloting GPs on a potential boycott of CCG involvement at a practice and board level.

The decision was made amid fears the withdrawal of GP inclusion in CCGs could “speed up” the privitisation of the NHS.

In proposing the motion, London GP Dr Louise Irvine said GPs only have two options: to continue to be “instruments of privitisation and rationing” or walk away from the “destructive process”.

“In the new commissioning era, the position of GPs will be untenable,” she said.

“GPs are being used as fig leaves to hide those who will truly control commissioning.”

She said a removal of involvement would render the threat of GP contracts being taken away as “impossible”.

“For too long the debate has been held by commissioning enthusiasts, it is now time to hear what ordinary GPs think,” said Dr Irvine.

GP Dr David Wrigley said while the motion was “superficially very attractive”, he warned a total boycott of GP involvement in CCGs would be a “dangerous road to take”.

Deputy Chair of the BMA’s GP Committee Dr Richard Vautrey agreed the motion was dangerous and said a ballot could leave the 5% of ‘GP commissioning enthusiasts’ in a CCG post “unchallenged”.

“[A boycott] is damaging and would blow up in our face,” he said.

Speaking at the annual NHS Confederation conference last week (20 June) to a group of journalists, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said GPs boycotting clinical commissioning would be “more perverse” than last Thursday’s (21 June) industrial action over NHS pension reform.