Doctors have made clear the opposition to the Health Bill within the profession, but stopped short of opposing the bill in its entirety.
At a special representatives meeting of the British Medical Association on Tuesday, 33 motions were carried highlighting areas where members of the profession opposed the bill.
These included a motion to “call a halt to the proposed top down reorganisation of the NHS” and “withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill”.
But BMA council chair Hamish Meldrum warned the meeting the wholesale rejection of the bill could weaken the position of doctors, giving them less opportunity to influence policy.
The 400 representatives voted against a motion saying the BMA’s stance of “clinical engagement” with the government had failed and they should “oppose the bill in its entirety”.
They also voted against a statement of “no confidence” in health secretary Andrew Lansley.
In the motions carried at the meeting were calls to “publicise and oppose the damaging elements of the bill” and “consider what form of action should be taken by the medical profession”.
It was agreed the BMA will “robustly pursue amendments to the bill that will reduce the inherent risks to patient care and promote the safety and quality of medical and social care”.
The doctors agreed they should oppose “any relaxation to the cap on private income of foundation trusts” and that “forcing all NHS trusts to achieve foundation status before they are ready will impact negatively on patient care”.
The meeting also passed a motion that the BMA “deplores the government’s use of misleading and inaccurate information to denigrate the NHS”.