More than 110 GPs have signed an open letter in the British Medical Journal criticising the leadership of the BMA and its stance on the NHS white paper reforms.

The letter, written by Clive Peedell, a consultant clinical oncologist and BMA council member, says its approach to ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS’ could “actually hasten the reforms because the association has effectively sent a message to the professions that the white paper is a done deal.”

Earlier this year, Hamish Meldrum, the BMA’s chairman, wrote to GPs saying that the BMA would “critically engage” with the white paper consultation process to “defend the founding principles of the National Health Service.”

At the end of a consultation period, the BMA criticised the Department of Health for failing to engage with the BMA’s constructive criticism and for “disregarding” major concerns that doctors and others have.

The open letter encourages the BMA to withdraw its policy of “critical engagement” with the government and engage more with its own members.

It calls for a special representative meeting to allow the BMA membership to debate the current proposals; something the organisation has so far rejected.

The letter also argues that the BMA is treating proposed policy ‘as policy’ by sending out letters to encouraging them to form up into shadow commissioning consortia and choose leaders.

The letter concludes: “We understand the pressures you are under, but it is now time to mobilise the profession and stop these damaging reforms, which will not only destroy the NHS but also profoundly affect the social fabric of our nation.”