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BBC claims Colleges stepped back from opposing Bill

BBC says ministers pressurised Academy into change of heart over statement

Louise Prime

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has backed down from making a planned statement formally opposing the Health and Social Care Bill following pressure from Government ministers, the BBC claims.

The BBC said the Academy was supposed to have been releasing a statement, before Prime Minister’s Questions this Wednesday, saying it could not support the Bill in its current form. But, it says, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and colleagues telephoned the Colleges’ presidents asking them to reconsider their move – and the statement was never presented.

Last night, says the BBC, the Academy held talks with the BMA and the Royal Colleges of Nursing and of Midwives – which have already called for the Bill to be scrapped – and released a joint statement saying they had had a “useful exchange of information and an agreement to continue the dialogue”.

A spokesperson for the Royal College of GPs said that the College could not comment on a story based on a leaked statement.

One commentator on the BBC story claimed: “I’m a member of one of the Colleges. We voted on Wednesday at an EGM to come out in direct opposition to the Bill. Our ‘Leaders’ have chosen not to accept that vote. Political game playing going on here - we want to oppose the Bill but are being prevented from doing so.”

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