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Independents' Day

#GPnews: RCGP holds vote on whether to remove Professor Steve Field

15:30 The chair of the GPC’s education and training committee, Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, linked to Pulse’s practice closures investigation as evidence of the crisis in general practice.

Pulse revealed that more than 200,000 patients had to attend a new practice last year because of closures.

14:20 Pic of the day is from the Nature journal, which reveals how little some high-profile medications actually work.

11:30 A very interesting story from the West Midlands. Last night, members of the RCGP Midland Faculty Board voted on whether to de facto remove Professor Steve Field, the CQC’s chief inspector for general practice, from the board.

The two GPs who brought the motions - Dr John Cosgrove and Dr Bill Strange - highlighted Professor Field’s comments to the Daily Mail, where he said he was ‘ashamed’ of his profession.

The motions said that any member making ’antagonistic and inflammatory’ comments towards RCGP members should be removed from the board.

Although Professor Field’s name was not mentioned in the motions, Dr Cosgrove made clear that the motion was directly related to him.  

But the board voted against the motions.

Read the full account on Dr Cosgrove’s blog.

10:30 Doncaster residents seem to have had a good new year, if their LMC leaders’ tweet is anything to go by (or the computer system isn’t working properly):

10:25 The Independent reports on a man who has lived to 107 drinking only red wine and nothing else.

Spanish winemaker Antonio Docampo García put down his longevity to drinking up to four bottles of his own wine a day.

According to his son, who is mourning his father’s passing last week in Vigo, northwestern Spain, Mr García never drank water.

10:00 Our top story today is that one-third of GPs believe the NHS should stop funding IVF treatment. One in five also say that bariatric surgery should not be offered to obese patients. And more than half think that people attending A&E for alcohol-related incidents should have to pay for their treatment. Read the full story here, and the full survey here.

9:30 We start the end of the week with a positive article: a major newspaper columnist defending GPs. Rosamund Unwin, of London’s Evening Standard, sticks up for GPs, points out they carry out 90% of care, and that ’we’d be wise to appreciate — and thank — our GPs more: we’d miss them if they disappeared’.

She adds: ’Every winter we hear about the pressure on A&E departments but one of the reasons they’re struggling is that GPs are resource-starved. In response to this, they’re calling for greater investment, a better recruitment strategy and a reduction in red tape. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary for at least a little bit longer, would be wise to listen.’

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing

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Readers' comments (10)

  • picture the following a lowly frontline GP makes inflammatory comments about his profession - the story breaks into the news and is all over the dailymail - imagine the fallout for that GP?

    it's clear that there are those that have protection and those that don't.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Yup! And shame on the board members who bottled out.

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  • 6 out of 17 is a damning result.

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  • Dr Glasspool: will you approach the RCGP Hon Sec to examine whether he has breached the code of conduct?

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  • An interesting conundrum here for the college.
    If they do not censure Dr Steven Field then they are tarred with the same brush and will be deemed to agree with his views (partially distorted)as expressed in the press.
    Does this mean the college is ashamed of being a GP?
    This will infuriate the members of the profession and and their own members too who believe Dr Field was wrong to do what he did, say what he said, and in the manner that he did it.
    This will also reflect on the College's relevance to Grass roots members and be noted and remembered too by trainees junior doctors and Med students who are watching this closely. ie future members.

    If they do censure Dr Fields they have declared that one of their own and a senior medico-political GP is a persona non-grata. That would appease the anger I see towards the so called cardigans and might save the college. However it still sends a confusing message about GP to young doctors and students. It also makes the college look inept. Or should I say more inept.

    In fact both options are not good for the college. They need to settle this quickly and move to a stance demonstrably more supportive of their profession or face haemorrhaging members. Good Luck

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  • Whenever a normal GP said anything against RCGP or our medical profession, they were removed from list by RCGP. But now RCGP have no guts. Nor GMC did anything against their great fielder, who will be the future boss of GMC If he made resign from CQC. He will be still making money and taking his revenge from poor Drs.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Penelope, I'd love to but I know from experience that I'd be told, "He was only expressing an opinion". Moreover, I (and my wife) both resigned our Fellowships in disgust over the way Dr Baker refused to publicly make a noise about the crisis in General Practice, or, indeed, do anything much, unlike the Blessed Clare, her predecessor. (Who no doubt has her faults, as we all do, but were they not apparent to me.) The bloody sky-diving advert was the last straw.


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  • We do not need to maintain membership of the RCGP in order to practise. We could always boycott of the College until it addresses this issue. I wonder how the new ivory tower would be paid for then.

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  • The college love Field and all he stands for. They enjoy knocking gps so they are easier to be controlled by them. Actions speak louder than words and this is why gp land, rulled by the college is in the appaling state it is in now.
    And the gravy train continues.....

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  • Maybe some of what Steve Field said was correct. I think it was but he was irresponsible in the way he sent his message and actually he and his cronies should take at least some responsibility for the state of general practice.
    Since we have the opportunity to boycott the RCGP, those who really feel strongly about it can exercise their right to do so. That would be true democracy in action.
    So as individuals, let's either put up or shut up.

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