Expected BMA engagement timeline regarding possible industrial action

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With the publication of the non-negotiated contract for 2024/25,  Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, the Chair of GPC England (GPCE), has set out an approximate timeline.

This aims to show the steps planned for the coming months and to enable GPs and others working in practice to see the widest context in which the referendum on the Contract is taking place. This timeline may be subject to change, with issues such as the date of the general election well outside of GPCE, but also because it will be impacted by the referendum result.


  • Contract 2024/25 published.
  • 7 – 27 March: referendum voting open.
  • Webinars through the three-week referendum window (dates TBC).
  • 28 March: GPCE to determine next steps with referendum outcome.
  • Period of pre-election sensitivity “purdah” from 16 March comes into effect limiting announcements by arms of government ahead of the local elections in May.


  • Imposed Contract comes into effect.
  • 24/25 Contract guidance due to be produced for England LMCs and practices by GPCE.
  • GPCE vision to be compiled with support from the policy groups.


  • 2 May: local council elections 2 May.
  • 16 May: Vision document to be published at GPCE meeting.
  • 24-25 May: UK Conference LMCs with GPCE/LMC roadshow dates announced for the 10 England regions.


  • Political party manifestos likely to be published.
  • GPCE/LMC roadshows across the 10 England regions commence (dates TBC).
  • BMA to undertake focus groups on GP industrial action with public and profession to complement the roadshows in England.
  • 24-25 June: BMA Annual Representative Meeting.


  • GPCE request permission from BMA UK Council to approve option for prospective IA. GPCE will meet face to face to deliberate strategic timeline and plan for Autumn action (if required).
  • Doctors and Dentists Remuneration Board (DDRB).


  • Allow time for negotiations in light of DDRB discussions to prepare communications tools and resources for use in September.


  • BMA membership push from the very start of the month, with a view to open the IA ballot by early September (if required) to coincide with political party conferences.


  • Potential GP IA across England announced and enacted timed to commence alongside likely announcement of a late November/early December general election when UK enters period of pre-election sensitivity “purdah”. This period effectively silences the Department of Health and Social Care/NHS England Mandate expected for the for 2025/26 Contract negotiations.


  • US Presidential elections.
  • UK general election campaigns with ongoing GP collective action likely coming up as a doorstep issue.


  • Likely general election.
  • Ongoing GP collective action.


  • 31 January: final date for a GE under current legislation.
  • Likely negotiations begin with new Government and new Health Secretary and Ministers. Whatever the shape of that new Government, the GPCE team will require a mandate and evidence of collective action to meet to negotiate the most favourable and successful outcome.