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

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

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

    Head of Marketing - London

    £60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

    Primary supply teachers needed in Downham Market

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...

    SEN Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN Teacher required with immediate...

    Maths Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required for a College i...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week