Britain’s GPs will be balloted by the British Medical
Association on a proposal that they all resign from their NHS
The 36,000 GPs will be questioned over their willingness to
resign if negotiations on a new contract proved to be unsuccessful.
The announcement was made by the UK General Practitioners
committee, following the many problems facing primary care.
Dr Kenneth Harden, Scottish General Practitioners committee
chairperson, said: “GPs have become very demoralised in recent
years as continual increases in workload have meant they are unable
to deliver the improvements in patient care we all want to
“This has led to the announcement today of a UK ballot to
determine whether GPs are willing to resign from their current
contract if negotiations over the next year on a new contract prove
successful,” he said.
Discussions with the Scottish executive, which publicly
acknowledges the problems facing primary care, have led to progress
being made by the Scottish GPs committee.
Dr Harden said he hoped a new contract would allow GPs to be
able to deliver high quality care within an acceptable working
* Nearly 70 per cent of family doctors surveyed in the north
east of England say they are prepared to take some form of
‘concerted action’ because of the cuts in primary
According to the survey carried out by Newcastle and North
Tyneside local medical committee, GPs say they would take the
action if they were advised to do so by the BMA’s General
Practitioners committee – so long as it was not detrimental
to patient safety.
The report highlighted that more than 80 per cent of GPs were
suffering with low morale because of workload problems, with 70 per
cent citing workload problems, 47.8 per cent saying levels of
bureaucracy as the cause and 42.8 per cent blaming lack of
(Click on ‘Scottish news’ at the top of this page for
further information about the contract situation in