This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

The waiting game

Astrology advocate challenges GP to head health scrutiny body

Former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston will face competition to reclaim the chair of the health select committee from an MP advocating astrology on the NHS.

David Tredinnick is the only challenger to Dr Wollaston for the role having been nominated by former health minister Dr Dan Poulter among other MPs.

The Conservative MP for Bosworth is famous for his championing of alternative medicine, not least homeopathy, however he was met by ridicule from Pulse readers last year after suggesting that GPs could use astrology to treat patients more efficiently and reduce public spend.

The House of Commons Health Committee examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department of Health. The chair will be elected until the end of Parliament in a ballot of all MPs to be held on 17 June. Nominations opened yesterday and will close 10 June.

Dr Wollaston was the most recent chair of the committee, having won a ballot to succeed Stephen Dorrell last summer.

The MP for Totnes has been an outspoken critic of health policies over the past five years, including challenging the Government on GP numbers, on patient record sharing and on seven-day access.

Readers' comments (14)

  • go on let him - if we start referring for astrology readings it means eveidence no longer has a place in medicine. It means we can put all other evidence based guidelines in the bin i.e. NICE, SIGN and CQC becomes redundant. Our lives will be easier.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Took Early Retirement

    I don't think Dr Wollaston actually ACHIEVED anything; I mean she is hardly likely to blame her own party for the mess the NHS is in, is she, so let's have the looney to chair the committee.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Another vote for the astrologer.

    Yes, he is hopelessly deluded but at least he believes in what he is preaching.

    Dr Wollaston must know and understand what her party has done to General Practice in just 5 years and yet chooses to deny it. She is much worse.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I like Dr Glasspools comments and thoroughly enjoy reading them! He tells it like it really is.

    General practice has become a festering pool of faeces and GP's themselves are fast becoming the garbage you find beneath your feet after walking through a pile of horse dung. How can a noble bunch of professionals be reduced to such a low level? i tell you how, by the complicity and duplicity of the so called leaders that represent us. hold your heads in shame and watch as a once great vocation is destroyed

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • well, if you feel you can triage people neatly by 12 signs ( yes, pisces, aries, etc etc ) than life could be easier ....we, doctors would not get away with ...but heck, whatever helps his process in Germany one would call him either ' bauernschlau ' oder saubloed

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    I suppose I have to starting revising all these Twelve Chinese Zodiac signs(十二生肖), Heavely Stems(天干)and Earthly Branches(地支)
    Ha ha ha

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Replying to anonymous@8.02, the problem is not with our Generals( GPC and RCGP) but with their troops who, like the Iraqui Army have downed weapons and simply run away.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @1:54
    Are you sure about that? To me it looks like the "troops" ie the GPs working day in and day out are fighting for their lives....literally. I know of plenty of GPs who've literally worked themselves to burnout or breakdown , divorce or alcoholism . I know of one guy who had a. Heart attack last year in his early 50s. These don't look to me like they've downed their weapons and fled. In fact look at someone like phil peberley, I know a dozen guys like that who are wounded but then get themselves back up to go back to the battlefield. Also they're fighting a war they can't win. Against an opposition. Better armed and more cunning without any assistance from their "generals". They're being given stupid directions and orders.

    You do you colleagues a great injustice by suggesting they're cowards. They're more likely shell shocked and tired of fighting whilst their generals sit back miles from the front line sipping champagne sending more and more of them to no mans land to die.........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • surely with astrology he should know the results already???

    on a serious note - I'm sure they will get rid of her as she has been a 'critic' and as such makes the government look bad. they need someone like Dan who can trot out policy convincingly eg 'there is no crisis the government has increased the number of GPs' etc etc

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Both as bad as each other ....execrable and the astrology and homeopathy believer is an utterly deluded indescribable moron.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The only way for NHS to survive is for us to keep our uranus aligned with the chair and let the our incomes align with the big dipper and continue to be whipped by orians belt.
    More seriously as a country we deserve this health select chair and anyone who didnt vote of voted tory only have thmeselves to blame.
    Oh bugger astrology not astronomy.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This comment has been moderated

  • Pisces off

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 95% of French GP's prescribe homeopathy alongside usual practice. Are they gullible & thick or are we?

    89% of our current UK medical practice has no evidence base and there's an interesting book by the head of the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration:

    Deadly medicines and organised crime : how big pharma has corrupted healthcare. Radcliffe Publishing. ISBN 9781846198847.

    'First do no harm'!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 3:40 Exactly, first do no harm...I have seen a patient die from homeopathy... used homeopathy for asthma. Put trust in the homeopath.. had attack and was dead on arrival in A&E.
    Homeopathy is a lie and because of that it does serious harm.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say