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GPs kidnapped and forced to work in Hull

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‘I was forced to eat northern delicacies and sleep under the floor boards.’ The words of a traumatised GP who was kidnapped and forced to work in Hull.  

The doctor spoke to us from a local safe house: ‘It all started at the job fair. I was weighing up my options and I remember speaking to the team from Hull. They were offering a radical new recruitment programme including a sabbatical and an MBA but no one seemed interested. When I was leaving I saw a man with a broken arm trying to load a sofa into the back of a van. The next thing I knew I’d been knocked over the head and was being driven up to Hull.’

Once in Hull he was forced to sign a contract which effectively handed over the next six years of his life: ‘I was forced to work twelve hour shifts, moving from one over-stretched run down practice to another. It was exhausting and everything was crumbling. In the evenings I shivered under the floorboards and survived on a diet of patties, pork tubes and a weird kind of canned burger thing. Sometimes the local children would break in and play ‘Angry keks’ or ‘Coil the cat turd’, northern street games whose rules still remain a mystery to me.’

After three torturous years the gang left the door open and he was able to escape ‘I still suffer flash backs,’ says the doctor, ‘and I don’t think the experience of eating processed lamb pressed into a variety of amusing animal shapes will ever leave me.’  

The scheme, which was considered to be a success, will now be rolled out nationally to include areas as diverse as Dagenham, Basingstoke, Croydon and Crewe. 

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I was speaking to a GP registrar recently who stated one of his colleagues had applied for the GP VTS in Yorkshire and was accepted but he had to go Hull rather than Bradford which was his preference. He decided to reapply the following year which really says it all!

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  • Hull is not too bad but its reputation is.
    Greek saying: better to lose an eye than to get a bad reputation.
    Hull needs leaders with great vision and deep pocket. Good luck.

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