Delegates at the Local Medical Committee (LMC) Annual Conference, which took place last Thursday and Friday (23–13 June) voted unanimously in favour of a motion of "no confidence in the UK government's stewardship of the NHS."
LMCs also gave a vote of no confidence in both the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and Lord Darzi, who is leading a wide-ranging review of the NHS to be published next month.
This was despite Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA's GPs Committee (GPC), urging delegates to reject the motions for no confidence in Mr Johnson and the health minister.
"We don't do personal," said Dr Buckman, who said that while the GPC and LMC delegates were right to object to policies that "damage the health service", they should not attack individuals for policies they "have to go along with".
However, GP Dr Eric Rose, the Derbyshire LMC representative who proposed the motion calling for no confidence in the health secretary, disagreed.
Referring to the government's negotiations over extended opening hours, Dr Rose said: "When someone bullies me with two bad offers, that's personal."
Conference delegates were overwhelmingly hostile to the government, with objections raised to the introduction of polyclinics, extended hours and an increasingly commercialised general practice.
On the first day of the conference, Dr Buckman delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street of more than 1.2 million signatures of members of the public opposing the widespread introduction of polyclinics and urging the government to halt plans to encourage commercial companies to run NHS general practice.