Three-quarters of GP practices fail to give strike notification

 

Almost three-quarters of GP practices will reportedly open as normal on Thursday when doctors take industrial action for the first time in almost 40 years.

A poll by Pulse magazine said only a quarter of practices across the UK have notified their primary care organisation that they will be taking part in the strike.

Across 20 primary care organisations, 281 out of 1,265 practices have so far notified NHS managers they are taking action.

Up to 100,000 doctors who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) could be on strike in protest at the Government's pension reforms.

Last week Pulse reported that hundreds of GP practices were notified that they could be hit with compensation claims from NHS managers if they are found to be in breach of contract.

It said that PCT clusters in London wrote to all 1,331 practices in the capital, saying: "The local NHS may decide to withhold certain payments due to a contract holder by way of compensation for any breach, should it occur. In addition, formal contract breach notices would be issued."

The Royal College of Midwives has advised its members not to do anything to "undermine" the industrial action. It urged members to "work as normal" on Thursday.

According to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the planned strike could see up to 30,000 operations cancelled, 58,000 diagnostic tests postponed and 200,000 outpatient appointments rescheduled.

Mr Lansley also said up to 1.25 million GP appointments would be pushed into the days and weeks following the action.

The BMA announced the strike last month after it accused ministers of pressing ahead with "totally unjustified" increases to pension contributions and a later retirement age for doctors even though a deal on pensions was agreed four years ago.

All non-urgent work will be postponed, the BMA said, adding that although the action will be disruptive, doctors will ensure patient safety is protected.

Doctors will see anyone who is ill, or who believes they are ill, on the day of action but will not do paperwork.

Local NHS managers have urged patients to only use services if there is an urgent need.

Most doctors will be taking industrial action for the first time, with the last dispute almost 40 years ago.

Mr Lansley has once again written to the BMA reminding them the final offer of a pension of £68,000-a-year was non negotiable.

He urged the union to think again about the action.

"The BMA say doctors feel that changes to their pension scheme are unfair and unnecessary," he said.

"This suggests that they do not feel any change to their pensions arrangements are justified - but change is necessary and our proposals are fair."

Doctor Sarah Wollaston, Tory MP for Totnes and former GP, said that many doctors had contacted her telling her they were unhappy with the action.

She said: "Any group of people faced with the prospect of paying more towards their pensions and working longer would be upset about that but as time has gone by, doctors have found that the public are not sympathetic to this because doctors' pensions are far better than most of their patients.

"It is very clear that there is no room for negation on this. The idea that this is a victimless strike is incorrect.

"Most doctors, when it comes down to the day, will be putting their patients first. Just talking to GPs I know, many of them are telling me that they are planning to work but might put a notice of support or something in the window."

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
News
Lavigne performing in Seoul at the beginning of last year
people
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a security software com...

    Recruitment Genius: Telemarketing / Sales Co-ordinator - OTE £25,000+

    £10000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of staffing and r...

    Recruitment Genius: Kitchen Porter

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court is seeking...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the four inns of Court i...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?