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NHS pension strike—we are preparing to make a stand

15 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

We are planning to take industrial action at our GP surgery. We’re unanimous about the blatant inequity being thrust down our throats by Mr Lansley and the anger we feel is palpable. We weren’t completely in agreement about what we’d be prepared to do about it—but when the date was announced, we realised that the two doctors who were less sure about what they wanted to do would be absent anyway on 21st June—and as long as we kept our patients safe, they didn’t stand in the way of the rest of the team taking action. In fact deep down they know it’s the right thing to do. On the day it has to be all for one and one for all—and so it will be.

I realise that part of my fury over NHS pensions is the flip side of the depression I feel about what’s happening to the NHS generally. I’ve never before had the misfortune of working for an “organisation” that I don’t truly believe in. So we’re preparing to make a stand, undaunted by Mr Lansley’s despicable mis-representation of what he’s doing to our pensions in the media and by the rather heavy-handed letter we received on Tuesday from our Primary Care Trust threatening us with the mixed message of “taking industrial action is legal but you may receive a letter stating you are in Breach of Contract.”

Interestingly the patients who’ve mentioned the subject have been remarkably supportive. I’d like to think that’s because they know what a good service we provide and appreciate that the access we give them is second to none. They say they also believe in equity. So we’re all set up to provide emergency and urgent care and I’ll be triaging all the calls that come in for telephone advice and urgent appointments from 8am to 6.30pm on 21 June—just as I always do on Thursdays. Our nurses will be providing emergency appointments too and will be providing the usual anticoagulation service and baby immunisation clinic on the day. Most patients won’t even notice anything’s different I suspect, but we will know that we’ve stood up to be counted, have kept our patients safe and retained our professionalism throughout.

Anonymous.

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  • Richard Smith

    Why is this blog anonymous? I can’t see that it needs to be, and the impact of an anonymous piece is much less than pieces where authors sign their names. I think that people should always be willing to sign what they write. It’s called accountability.

  • Janetdunsford

    just to say good on you 

  • Kadams67

    I agree with Richard
    Why is this blog anonymous?
    Why doesn’t the GP feel that they can put their name to this
    It’s not particularly controversial
    and it’s depressing if people feel they can’t put their name to their views
    As Richard says it has little impact

    Kate

  • Mark

    The NSH pension system is a seperate entity from the NHS and is not funded by NHS dirrectly is funded by workers payments – its there money should get it out when they expected at 60 if they contracted for that when they foirst joined

  • Stpbd

     someone is drowning and you are bothered about the identity of that person instead of thinking what problem he is in.

  • Alan Roberts

    I am amazed by the naivety of the BMA (and the members who voted for) This action will maximise negative publicity and have minimal impact. Lansley must be laughing.
    The BMA should be asking for pension parity with civil servants (or MPs- that would be good). The focus would then shift to the relative position and not the Doctors with £50,000 pensions. Private pensions have been decimated over the last 5 years. In the eyes of the public we will be betrayed as the baddies. Deaths on 21st will be blamed on the action.

  • F1

    “On the day it has to be all for one and one for all—and so it will be.”

    Why?
    I don’t think industrial action is the correct course, but understand many people feel strongly about this. It shouldn’t affect and include all.
    You haven’t even stated the reason for your outrage, just that you want to make a stand and don’t like the way

  • Heather Farrar

    I have an idea for action which will have minimal impact on the care of patients – why don’t GPs refuse to take part in GP commissioning for a defined period of time eg for 1 month, or even 6 months?  GP commissioning has been welcomed by some, but has essentially been forced on us at the same time as an ever increasing drive towards improving quality of care (with all the extra ‘paperwork’ involved). Locum reimbursement does not compensate for the disruption to continuity of care. Perhaps GPs could have pivotal role in influencing a Government that just does not CARE what any doctor thinks?
    Heather Farrar

  • david whittle

    this is how i would go about it if my Pension would be affected!

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