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LMC Conference falls flat for many GPs

LMC Conference falls flat for many GPs

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Despite a high number of scheduled provocative debates, for many the annual LMC conference failed to live up to expectations.  

Hopping on the train to Liverpool, I examined the conference programme.

Among the debates were a possible reprimand for the British Medical Association’s (BMA) leadership over its opposition to the Health Bill, a potential call for the resignation of the Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, a demand for the abolition of practice boundary pilots – the list goes on.

Blimey, I thought. This conference means business. It wants to create headlines and make waves. But ultimately, it failed to galvinise and awaken many GPs attending.

Most telling of all was the swerve made by attendees to abstain from voting on the Cameron/Lansley resignation motion.

It was deemed “silly politics” and many simply didn’t see the point.

“Oh yeah, I’m sure the people were running up and down the corridors of No 10 screaming when they heard we may call for them to stand down,” one LMC leader told me.

Similarly, although the motion to formally reprimand the BMA leadership for their “delayed reaction” to the Health Bill was put to the vote, it was defeated rather overwhelmingly.

The mood was described as flat by LMC leaders. Thanks, in part, to GP fatigue.

Fatigue over fighting (either for or against) the now Health and Social Care Act, despair over pension reform, and an utter despondency over not being listened to by government ministers were named as some of the reasons for a lack of fight and spirit.  

And all this on top of the day job.

GP leaders are now needed more than ever to reinvigorate and inspire the profession to revisit the battleground once again.

All GPs need to join together to make the reforms a success. GPs from different backgrounds, views, cultures and geographies need to find common ground to ensure the survival of the NHS.

And that is a fight worth fighting.

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