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GPs go forth

Gerada quits NHS England to be able to speak out on NHS privatisation

Exclusive Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has quit NHS England to be able to speak out against what she calls the Conservatives’ ‘desperate quest for privatisation’.

She told Pulse that running the primary care ‘transformation’ programme in the capital as chair of NHS England London’s primary care clinical board had been ‘fantastic’ but that she saw her ‘bigger role’ as a whistleblower on NHS policy - especially in the run-up to the general election.

Professor Gerada, who has filled the time by adding more sessions of clinical work as a GP in Lewisham in south London, said it was ‘no secret now’ that people working within the NHS both at senior and junior manager level were ‘frightened of speaking out and whistleblowing’ and she had not wanted to ‘embarrass’ her employer by doing so.

She said: ‘I think the big things that are wrong cannot be fixed by me [working for NHS England]. These are big things like restoring the secretary of state’s duty to provide a comprehensive health system, like ensuring that we have equity of funding across different areas. Those are the things that are being rapidly removed and being put into the hands of quangos, really.’

The former RCGP chair said that the ‘important thing’ is to bring the NHS ‘back to public ownership, back into proper finance to being properly delivered - and stop this desperate quest for privatisation’

She added: ‘Despite what the Conservatives are saying, as GPs we only need to look around us to know what is going on, and that is that people are no longer able to access the care that they need to because of serious problems with funding and a constant move towards tendering and all things like that.’

Professor Gerada’s NHS campaigning work in the election run up has included an open letter to the Guardian signed by 140 doctors casting a damning verdict on the Coalition’s NHS track record, but she faced a backlash when Tories seized on her membership in the Labour Party, calling the letter a ‘Labour-instigated stitch up’.

Professor Gerada, who told the Telegraph newspaper that she was ‘not a Labour Party activist’, told Pulse that ‘as an outed Labour card carrier’ she hopes the party will win but she thinks next week’s election is too close to call.

Readers' comments (65)

  • stupid question but what is the primary care ‘transformation’ programme?

    the cynic in me wonders if it has anything to do with the fact that we might be ending up with a labour / SNP coalition who will want to clean out any conservative supporters from existing Quangoes and replace them with folks who execute their plans?

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  • Vinci Ho

    About time to lay off the 'baggages' to save your soul!
    The longer you stay under the roof of the devil , the less freedom of speech you will have.....
    We are warriors
    We are Jedi
    Valar Morgulis
    All men must die( we are all mortals)
    Valar Dohaeris
    But all men must serve(with honours)

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  • A few years too late I wonder? The damage that had occurred did not happen overnight. On the eve of an election I wonder if, as an earlier poster pointed out, she sees a Tory defeat looming and is trying to switch sides before the massacre??!!!

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Respect to her.

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  • thank you for doing the right thing. even if it seems abit late. You have my respect for taking this stance.
    best wishes

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  • Hopefully she has gathered a lot of evidence. She has done the right thing.

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  • She made a statement about referring more patients to Food banks than to hospital recently along with many other GP`s (some of whom are associated with labour).
    I am fairly sure that wouldn't have not gone unnoticed with the present Government!

    Vinci Ho- As usual (?always) you are right

    As they say in the Game of thrones

    You win or you DIE

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  • Exactly the right thing to do. Stick to your principles. Better late than never.

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  • Two comments......
    First, it would be good to know what CG has advocated in terms of GP transformation within her role at NHSE.
    Second, it is an incitement of our system that a senior colleague does not feel that she can express her opinion while employed by NHSE.

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  • Vinci Ho

    What is right? What is wrong?
    In the eyes of your enemies, you are ALWAYS wrong.
    The more enemies , the more wrong you are......No hard feelings , this is life.......

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