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Independents' Day

Letter of the week: Carry on complaining

I disagree that it is unprofessional to complain (‘GPs accused of complaining culture', News, 10 October).

We have a professional obligation to fight our corner for scarce resources and resist cutbacks to services. It is good that we attack perverse priorities that put targets before care. We should highlight service failures – and whistleblowers perform a vital function in unmasking negligence.

And now that GPs have given up leadership to politicians and managers, we increasingly have a vital role in highlighting the foolishness of untested reforms and acting

as independent advocates for our patients. Public trust gives authority to our views.

This is not a negative role – there is a virtuous circle leading from opposition and complaint to improvements.

It is ironic that we should be taken to task for complaining at a time when doctors daily face multiple jeopardy from complaints themselves, with no guarantee of a criminal standard of justice from the GMC. I would urge medical directors not to wear the cap of corporate responsibility. As a profession we have become culpably docile.

From Dr Philip Razzell, Sevenoaks, Kent

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