The British Medical Association has been labelled 'old-fashioned and change averse' by its own staff in a survey leaked to HSJ.

A document from the BMA's senior management group outlining key themes from the organisation's first-ever survey of its 500 staff reveals widespread dissatisfaction with leadership, openness and pay.

Only a quarter of those surveyed last December felt the organisation embraced change - a "very disappointing" result, according to the document. It also found that staff do not think senior management are "in touch with their work", nor do they "inspire excellent performance".

The survey comes as a strike by BMA staff looms over what union GMB has called the "hypocrisy" of having performance-related pay imposed four years ago. The GMB is balloting 212 members around the country, saying the BMA would "be in uproar" if the "divisive" pay policy was introduced for doctors in the same way. If a strike goes ahead, it will be the first time in its 175-year history that the BMA has faced industrial action by its own staff.

GMB organiser Dave Kent said: "It is the height of hypocrisy for BMA management to persist with this discredited, demotivating and disastrous PRP system. The BMA needs to recognise this, and to enter into genuine negotiations with the GMB on a fair system of pay."

The BMA has consistently opposed performance-related pay for its own members, Mr Kent said.

The pay change was introduced in 2004 but a motion opposing it was passed at last year's annual BMA representatives' meeting.

A BMA spokesman said doctors do have elements of performance-related pay, for example through the quality and outcomes framework for GPs. He said: "The GMB signed up to these changes and staff were consulted. This year, pay rises have been well above inflation, with 77 per cent receiving 4.5 per cent or more and 55 per cent receiving 6 per cent or more."

The staff survey was "a positive move towards improving working relationships... in the BMA", he said.