Letter of Resignation from the British Medical Association Council. BMA refuses emergency ballot on industrial action for NHS GPs facing unworkable government contract.
I felt I had let NHS GP partners down. Our younger GPs did not have a 10-year government-protected generous NHS pension to fall back on. They had to work a NHS GP contract that was pushing many to burnout and bankruptcy. And with more female GPs than males, it meant many female GP mothers were putting in 12-hour days and sacrificing more time away from their children. I was saddened for patients who would be moved around when surgeries closed, the added strain on neighbouring practices, delays in accessing a GP, and the domino effect and collapse of healthcare.
Excerpt from the BMA Chief Executive Keith Ward's letter dated July 4, 2014
'..I am not in a position to authorise mailout of the July Council papers to you. However, I do not wish to fetter your engagement with BMA Council and will be prepared to forward the July Council papers to you upon receipt of a formal undertaking (attached) to treat the Council documents marked confidential as confidential. Secondly, I have asked the Director of Legal Services to set up an investigation and also call an Interim Measures Panel Article 14 (8) who will be able to assess the likely ongoing risk to the Association whilst the investigation is underway and also potentially have the power to suspend you from all BMA offices you hold with immediate effect pending the outcome of the investigation.'
Update 21 August 2014
Evidence from my restricted private Facebook used by the BMA Chief Executive to call for an Interim Measures Panel. How did the Chief Executive gain access to my restricted facebook? Are the actions of the BMA 'disproportionate' to ask the Director of Legal Services to call for an Interim Orders Panel to assess my ongoing risk to the BMA? Are Nationally-Elected Council Reps to be 'gagged' from talking to their electorate and expressing an opinion about being inundated with BMA server conversation emails on holiday?
Response to Data Subject Access request for identity of my accuser. BMA redacts his name. The Royal Crown Courts abide by the laws of natural justice and allow one to know the name of the accuser to respond to any 'vexatious' complaints, but not the RCGP or BMA. It begs the question, are old boys protecting each other? Is the BMA a closed shop?
May 2014 LMC conference I raised suggestion of industrial action as leverage for contract negotiations against an unworkable NHS GP contract. Why are GPs denied a BMA ballot on strike action even in the context of GPs burning out and committing suicide?
Update October 2014
NHS GPs call on their BMA trade union for a 'ballot on action.'
Some NHS GPs call for a trade union that only represents GPs and not consultants too.
A NHS hospital consultant pays only 12% to the NHS pension yet NHS GP partners have to pay 27%! I then looked up the BMA published salary pay scale for NHS hospital consultants. Now note, that GP partners' pay is dependent on practice income and the government has taken away the 'minimum practice income guarantee' so we see GP partners' pay nose dive. But hospital consultants are guaranteed their NHS salary of up to £101k regardless of the NHS hospital revenue. And their pay reflects their seniority whereas seniority pay for NHS GPs has also been scrapped!
NHS salaried GP, 'Shame on the GPC and BMA - you have failed to act, and failed to represent us. I resigned my membership and they couldn't care less.'
NHS GP Partner, 'We are supposed to be independent Contractors, but the (BMA) GPC does nothing while they impose Contracts. If this is far too much work and our mental and physical health is affected, we cannot close our lists. Sometimes I dream of a (BMA) GPC who can actually stand up for us GPs and say NO, instead of all this Yes, Yes, Minister. I wonder if they ever wonder what might happen if the (BMA) GPC said NO, instead of bleating to the newspapers about help to recruit new GPs. GPC can you not see your tactics mean that you cannot recruit or retain GPs. You GPC are in charge of this debacle...the nation cannot do without GPs, for sure.'
UPDATE OCTOBER 2015 - 40% of NHS GPs to quit within 5 years.
RIP NHS GP partner Dr Brian Keighley died suddenly November 2015, aged 68.
RIP NHS GP partner Dr Mukesh Patel died suddenly of a heart attack October 2015, aged 59.
RIP NHS GP partner Dr Jenny Wess died suddenly of heart failure October 2015, aged 52.
RIP NHS GP partner Dr Hameed Khan died suddenly of a heart attack October 2015, aged 68.
Update: December 2015
NHS GP partners cries to their trade union, the BMA GPC (GP Committee) for a ballot on strike action or mass resignation from an intolerable unilateral state slave contract.
NHS GP Partner 23 Dec 2015 4:49pm
"Jump, for God's sake: I did 12m ago as a senior partner in a practice left to drown by our CCG/Acute Hospital/LMC/Area Team (yes, all 4). Not easy to tell the difference between handwashing and handwringing when these groups get involved: either is a chocolate teapot response anyway! Happy to put it out to tender for £200 per patient but not to put a small fraction of that into a dedicated, existing team.
It is great fun being a clinician (it is more than enough to concentrate on). Somewhere a Civil Servant is laughing at you for doing all this work for £65 per patient per year.
Have some self respect.. and don't give me the "what about the patients" cr*p: they are good enough at getting what they want and the NHS/CCG/DOH automatically resume responsibility. Which is where it lies anyway."
Another NHS GP Partner 23 Dec 2015 6:59pm
"..the precise problem= some GPs get 200 others 100 pounds a year. Some do a lot of penance, others none at all.
If the GPC does not look after at its own members, there will be no GPs left.
And that is how it should be. GP land is so so horrible, I wish I had never, ever taken up a partnership with a share in the building and the nightmare of redundancy pay.
I am stuck like Peverley. Whatever happened to him after his AF (atrial fibrillation)?
The only thing I can say from my mountain ledge position of only working harder and harder for less and less is = Please, please go if you can and do not become a Principal. Please, the nightmare is beyond sleepless nights and anxiety and worry.
It is toxic, painful and full of horror. It maddens me when THE leaders of the GPC just complain and do absolutely nothing. if they cannot see the damage they are causing, they should be told.
They should resign. Look at GP land under their stewardship."
NHS GP Partner Dr Peter S. Dec 2015 8:37pm
"NHS General Practice is dead
All of this is true
-unrestrained and unresisted patient demand
-dwindling resources and income because CCGs are in deficit.
-funded from 6.2% of the NHS budget, to conduct 90% of all NHS medical consultations.
-because the game is rigged under PBR to suck all NHS funds in to Hospital Trusts, also in deficit, and swallowing up all the so-called NEW money promised to the NHS
-leading to a demoralised workforce
-leading to General Practice being shunned by young doctors
-over-regulated at every turn by every body that you can name
-pension terms so diminished that retirement no longer holds the security that it once did
-endless antipathy from many sources of the media
BUT WHEN ARE THE PUBLIC GOING TO BE TOLD THE TRUE CLIFFHANGER STATE OF GENERAL PRACTICE?
WHEN IS GPC GOING TO GET ITS MESSAGE ACCROSS?
THERE WOULD BE UPROAR IF THIS WAS FRANKLY, HONESTLY AND CREDIBLY PUT TO THE MEDIA IN A FORM THAT THE PUBLIC CAN UNDERSTAND
HOPEFULLY BEFORE TOO MANY MORE PRACTICES PULL THEIR SHUTTERS DOWN FOR THE LAST TIME."
NHS GP partner Dr Paul S. 28 Dec 2015 8:42pm
"Sad but true.
I jumped eighteen months ago, from the shit to my feet.
I hope Basildon misses your senior partner."
Dr J.O. Female NHS GP Partner 31 Dec 2015 1:13pm
"Have not been able to do all the work on my desk for the entire year. Despite working weekends going in early cutting back on appointments etc
Abused on a daily basis
Every Tom Dick and Harry sending forms to be filled in by the GP eg witnessing signatures for pensions....
Have cut back on house calls but still the demand is there
Tried to examine an old lady no light no help etc waste of time had to send her to casualty
Writing scripts daily for OTC meds, bread, moisturising cream...
Daily arguments about viral infections and no need for abs
Demand huge every muscle ache urti needs an urgent appointment and don't get me started on " smelly diarrhoea "!
No hospital follow ups. Every letter do this do that do the heart surgery. Can't get patients seen urgently.
Send them to casualty then sent home again. Late diagnosis, worse outcomes.
No time for the really sick patients
Hign indemnity, pension contributions now 30%
Ponzi scheme anyhow.
GPC had better come up with something but I doubt it
Monopoly employer. Weak doctors.
Of course it is about money. Goodwill has long gone
If I want to work for charity I can work for MSF not gb gov!"
And as I reflect back to the BMA Annual Representatives Meeting of 2014, the words of NHS whistleblower Oxford grad consultant paeds cardiothoracic surgeon Professor Edwin Jesudason still strike a chord. https://vimeo.com/100747028. Professor Jesudason is now working in Australia.