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It's farewell to Pat

As politicians drop like flies, it came as no surprise to see another former minister announcing her decision to step down yesterday. But the latest to jump Westminster’s rapidly sinking ship will no doubt spark interest, and maybe even a few smiles, among GPs.

As politicians drop like flies, it came as no surprise to see another former minister announcing her decision to step down yesterday. But the latest to jump Westminster's rapidly sinking ship will no doubt spark interest, and maybe even a few smiles, among GPs.

Patricia Hewitt, the ‘much loved' former Health Secretary, revealed that after 13 years-unlucky for some-as an MP, she would be retiring at the next election to spend more time with her family.

The lovely Patricia, one of the original Blair babes, will of course be fondly remembered for her time as health secretary and it appears that she is bowing out just as her legacy really takes hold.

As practices face up to huge losses of up to £25,000 from the patient survey which was her particular baby, they will no doubt be pleased to see that her decision to go had all to do with strengthening family ties and nothing to do with £920 in legal fees and £194 in fees for furniture delivered to her London home courtesy of the taxpayer.

So farewell Pat and good luck with your new position as chair of the UK India Business Council.

Thanks for you contribution to GP pay, patient choice and doctor training.

And the good news is your decision to go now will save you from voters delivering the fate wished upon you by GPs when they passed a vote of no confidence on you at the 2007 LMCs Conference.

Dr. Eric Rose, of Buckinghamshire LMCs, memorably made reference at the time to the hit show The Apprentice, when he told GP leaders: 'I hope very soon [Hewitt] will be hearing the Sugary words "You're fired!"

How GPs might greet the news of Hewitt's demise at the LMCs conference next week How GPs might greet the news of Hewitt's demise at the LMCs conference next week

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