Thursdays intended GP’s strike looks set to involve an underwhelming number of participants, with only a quarter of practices in the country informing their primary care trust that they intend to strike. This is the first time in nearly 40 years that doctors have taken industrial action.
Of the 20 primary care organisations polled, 281 of 1,265 practices have informed the NHS management that they intend to strike. It is thought that up to 100,000 doctors with BMA membership would strike against the pension reforms proposed by the government.
Pulse magazine had reported that NHS managers notified hundreds of GP surgeries to inform them of the possibility of compensation claims being lodged if they were found to be in breach of contract.
The Royal College of Midwives has urged its members to continue working as normal on Thursday, so as not to undermine the strike action.
Andrew Lansley, the British health secretary, believes the strike could result in as many as 30,000 operations being cancelled, the postponement of up to 58,000 diagnostic tests and the rescheduling of around 200,000 outpatient appointments. The disruption to GP appointments could be far greater, with an estimated 1.25 million being delayed as a result of the strike.