27 February 2012

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Royal College of Physicians today, 189 attending fellows of the RCP voted by 80% to 16% (4% abstaining) to survey fellows and members for their views on the Health and Social Care Bill.

At the meeting, the vast majority of those who spoke voiced serious concerns about the Bill and its consequences for the NHS and patient care.  Another four-part motion calling for the Bill to be withdrawn, below, was voted on as a non-binding motion to be sent to Council for consideration.

Sir Richard Thompson, RCP president, said:

'It was good to see so many fellows being so passionate about the NHS.  We have had an extremely good debate, during which people expressed heartfelt views on the Bill and the impact it will have on the NHS.  We shall survey our members and fellows as soon as possible and I shall take the further concerns of the meeting to Council.'

 

Notes to editors

For further information please contact RCP PR manager Linda Cuthbertson on 020 3075 1254, 07748 777919, Linda.cuthbertson@rcplondon.ac.uk.

The survey will be sent out on Monday 5 March, allowing time to decide on the questions, which will be based on the issues raised at the EGM.  The meeting urged the President to undertake the survey as soon as possible. The independent polling company ERS will undertake the survey. The RCP academic vice-president, Professor Tim Evans, who is elected by the fellowship, will oversee the integrity of the process.

The motion was introduced by Dr David Nicholl, his full speech will be available on the RCP website.

Baroness Ilora Finlay, a cross-bench peer who is also a fellow of the RCP, brought the meeting up to date with the passage of the Bill through the Lords.

Registrar Dr Patrick Cadigan, outlined previous RCP lobbying on the Bill, and engagement with RCP fellows and members.

 

Full details of motions

Tabled motion

1. Decide the motion that the RCP should survey all fellows and members of the RCP with their specific views as to whether to accept or reject the plans as laid out in the NHS Bill.

(Total votes cast: 186)

  • Yes - 80%
  • No - 16%
  • Abstain - 4%

Indicative, non-binding vote

2. That this meeting:  

(a) considers that the Health and Social Care Bill, if passed, will damage the NHS and the health of the public in England;

(Total votes cast: 172)

  • Yes - 89%
  • No - 8%
  • Abstain - 3%

(b) calls upon the Royal College of Physicians to call publicly for complete withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill;

(Total votes cast: 179)

  • Yes - 79%
  • No - 18%
  • Abstain - 2%

(c) calls upon the Royal College of Physicians to seek an alliance with the RCGP, RCR, BMA, RCN, RCM and other willing Royal Colleges and NHS stakeholder organisations to call collectively for the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill;

(Total votes cast: 182)

  • Yes - 81%
  • No - 19%
  • Abstain - 0%

(d) calls upon the Royal College of Physicians to hold a joint press conference with the BMA and other willing Royal Colleges and NHS stakeholder organisations, to make a joint public statement calling for the Bill to be withdrawn.

(Total votes cast: 182)

  • Yes - 69%
  • No - 29%
  • Abstain - 2%