GPs vote to take action

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Doctors in Central Lancashire are set to take industrial action for the first time in almost 40 years next month.

The British Medical Association (BMA) announced yesterday that the first day of action will take place on June 21.

The move, over major changes to the NHS pension scheme, will see doctors providing all urgent and emergency care - but postponing non-urgent cases.

Today, a number of doctors’ surgeries in Preston said it was too early to comment on what the impact will be locally.

Peter Higgins of the Local Medical Committee said more details are expected in the next few days.

A spokesman from NHS Central Lancashire said on June 21 doctors will carry out all urgent and emergency care, but non-urgent care will be postponed - meaning that any consultations or procedures that can be safely delayed will be.

The spokesman added: “The union has said it will be working with NHS organisations to make sure decisions about any disruption will be taken well in advance of the 21 June.

“NHS Central Lancashire will be taking a proactive approach in working with the BMA to ensure information on any disruption to services is provided as early as possible to patients and we do not expect any emergency services to be disrupted in central Lancashire

“We will also be working closely with other local NHS organisations including general practice to minimise disruption as much as possible.”

The action comes after the results of the BMA’s ballots. Overall, 50% of the 104,544 doctors eligible to vote took part. Across separate ballots covering six branches of practice, a clear majority said they were prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike and a strike.