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Majority of Bradford GPs will not be striking
A majority of GP surgeries in the Bradford district have rejected taking part in the first industrial action by doctors since 1975.
Figures released by NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, showed as of last night that of the 81 GP practices in the district only 12 are fully participating in the action and will be open for emergency appointments only this Thursday.
A further 20 GP practices will be partially affected and 49 are not involved at all.
The action has been called by the British Medical Association (BMA), the doctors’ union, because of anger at increases in pension contributions and plans to raise the retirement age from 65 to 68.
From midnight on Thursday for 24 hours practices taking part in the industrial action will not be providing routine appointments with GPs or nurses. Any booked routine appointments might be cancelled and practices are responsible for letting patients know of any cancellations and re-arranging appointments.
Dr Richard Vautrey, a GP in West Yorkshire and deputy chairman of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, said he was not surprised at the numbers not participating as it was in line with the ballot results.
He said: “What we would hope to get across is that we are not asking to be treated as special, we are simply asking to be treated fairly.
“Doctors are extremely angry with the way they are being treated but even so they are putting their patients first. Even those taking part are doing so extremely reluctantly. Our dispute is not with our patients, it is with the Government.”
Dr Vautrey said the dispute was a “walk-in” not a “walk-out” and doctors would be at their desks as normal.
“Patients should not go to casualty but they should contact their GP practice as normal,” he added.
Damian Riley, medical director for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said last night: “Across Bradford and Airedale, 12 GP practices are planning to take industrial action on Thursday, with a further 20 practices affected by some, but not all, of their GPs taking action.
“The list shows practices which have informed us of their intentions to take full or partial action on that day, although it is provisional and some practices’ plans may change in the meantime.
“On Thursday, all practices in the district are going to be open, and GPs will be available to see patients who believe they need urgent or emergency care. GPs will also review urgent test results and correspondence, and deal with urgent prescription requests, to ensure that patient safety will not be affected.
“We are working with practices to ensure that they make appropriate arrangements to inform patients about their arrangements, and also to deal with patients’ urgent medical needs during the industrial action.”
Some hospital care will also be affected and any patients with appointments on the day should have been notified by the relevant hospital. If patients have not been contacted and have an appointment on Thursday they should attend.
A Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “Arrangements have been made to ensure that patient safety and levels of care are not compromised by any industrial action.
“Emergency and urgent clinical activity will take place as normal, some routine clinics and elective surgery will be affected and we have notified patients of any changes.”
ALL GPS TAKING PART: Bevan Healthcare CIC (Community Interest Company); Bowling Hall Medical Practice; Local Care Direct Bradford at Hillside Bridge Healthcare Centre; Mayfield Medical Centre; Peel Park Surgery; Rooley Lane Medical Centre; The Avicenna Medical Practice; The Wilsden Medical Practice; Valley View Surgery; Wibsey & Queensbury Medical Practice; Woodroyd Centre (Dr Longfield); Woodroyd Centre (Dr Fenwick).
SOME GPS TAKING PART: Ashcroft Surgery; Bingley Medical Practice; Newton Way Medical Practice - Dr P M Gomersall & Partners; Idle Medical Centre - Dr Roberts & Partners; Haworth Medical Practice; Heaton Medical Practice; Horton Park Surgery; Leylands Lane Medical Practice; Low Moor Medical Centre; Phoenix Medical Practice; Saltaire Medical Practice; Springfield Surgery; SunnyBank Medical Centre; The Bluebell Building (Dr Malik); The Lister Surgery; The Rockwell and Wrose Practice; Thornton and Denholme Medical Practice; Westcliffe Medical Centre; Whetley Medical Centre (Dr Mahmood); Whetley Medical Centre (Dr Masood).