The British Medical Association stepped up its opposition to polyclinics last week, when GPs delivered a 1.2-million-signature petition to 10 Downing Street and passed a series of no-confidence votes in the government and health minister Lord Darzi.

GPs committee chair Laurence Buckman told 400 colleagues at the BMA's local medical committee conference that the public had shown massive support for GPs.

He said: "My message to Gordon Brown is this: whatever you think of GPs, take note of what your electorate thinks."

He slammed the introduction of 150 polyclinics proposed by Lord Darzi in his next stage review as "dumbing down" general practice.

"It will spell the end of the generalist who can offer holistic care. It will see the rise of clinics further away from the patients they serve and providing much less of the personal care and commitment they value," Dr Buckman said.

GPs at the London conference passed no-confidence votes in the UK government's stewardship of the NHS, in Lord Darzi as a minister and in his view of general practice. They had no confidence, either, in Lord Darzi's ability to carry out an independent review of the NHS "free of a predetermined outcome".

But health minister Ben Bradshaw commented that the BMA's campaign was "misleading and mendacious".