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British GPs reject out of hours offer

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 17 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1553

British family doctors have rejected by 5 to 1 the government's proposals for restructuring out of hours services. They have told their negotiators to make one more attempt to resolve the crisis with an “immediate approach” to the Department of Health. If the talks break down or do not proceed fast enough doctors will be balloted on whether they want to take industrial action.

There was a 77% turn out in the ballot; 83% of general practitioners (20345) voted against the offer and 17% (4274) voted for. The proposals included pounds sterling45m in 1995-6 to develop rota systems and more cooperatives and to help rural and isolated doctors—for example, with costs of locum cover; a payment of pounds sterling2000 for all principals for out of hours work and a consultation fee of pounds sterling20 for all principals, assistants, associates, and trainees; a commitment to allow general practitioners to transfer their out …

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