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Minister blames 'counsel of despair' GPs for poor training uptake

A junior health minister has told MPs that pessimistic GPs are partly to blame for the recruitment issues facing the profession.

Speaking at a House of Commons Library Debate on GP retention and recruitment, health minister Steve Brine said there is 'little wonder' that medical students don't want to follow GPs into the profession as they have become 'a counsel of despair'.

He added that 'positivity is very important' to attract new recruits, citing RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard as a 'a brilliant example of the cup being half full'.

His comments come after workforce numbers continue to decline with the latest official figures revealing that 219 full-time equivalent GPs left the profession between September and December last year.

Mr Brine told MPs: ‘There are things that we can do but I would also say that there are things that the profession can do too and if doctors in general practice are a counsel of despair then little wonder that people don’t want to follow them into it.’

He added: 'I think there are some really good positive voices in general practice, ably led by Helen Stokes-Lampard, who is a brilliant example of the cup being half full. That kind of positivity is important so it is a partnership.'

Mr Brine's comments come after Professor Stokes-Lampard previously advised GPs not to 'vent on your juniors', adding that 'it’s destructive and unhelpful'.

Readers' comments (49)

  • If more GPs felt like they had more things to be positive about, would this issue not sort itself out?

    So rather than complain about 'negativity' on the front line, why don't those in positions of power do something TANGIBLE to increase positivity on the frontline.

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  • It’s the thought police. Telling you what to think. Telling you what to say. Telling you how to feel.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Thought police. Who is this man? Seriously who is he and WHY is he working as a health minister? Does he think becoming a GP turns you into some kind of brainless idiot? Are GPs not actually real independant people living real lives capable of independent thought or does he believe we are a group separate from other people somehow different and collectively mentally deranged? Is it not possible that we are simply collectively reflecting actual reality? If you close your eyes and pretend everything is marvellous does it make it so? Or are you actually lying to yourself and misleading others simply to satisfy the ego of brainless fools who’d rather the crap they are responsible for doesn’t need fixing? Total and utter fool.

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  • Hi Mr Brine.
    Cup half full you say.
    Actually it's rather more than 5000 away from being full.
    And a Dr Bawa Garba short of making us believe that we are not working in a dangerous environment.
    I wonder which pack of idiots have been steering the NHS the last 8 years? Deliberately suggesting employing deception to sort the problem just about sum you up..

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  • PS Mr Brine
    Prof HSL is a brilliant example of why I left the RCGP a long time ago.
    La la land.

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  • Perfect example as to why General Practice in the UK is doomed.... did Mr Brine ever wonder WHY Gps are such a a miserable bunch... we weren't when we went to medical school.... its called 'the job' and what it does to formerly happy people.... the same job that HSL doesn't really do.....which is why she's likely grinning like a chesire cat..... looks like she's got her political career next. The Emperors new clothes springs to mind...... let the politicians believe themselves...... we can see the naked truth.... and its not a pretty sight!

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Hey, that's a new Daily Wail headline, "GPs to blame for lack of GPs".

    In a press-release Mr Brine also revealed that GPs were responsible for the chemical attack in Salisbury, the Financial Crash, the Great Train Robbery and the recent snow.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    GPs also to blame for incorrect use of English: "COUNSEL of despair".

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  • Thanks for pointing this out, now corrected.

  • History Graduate Mr Brine,not exactly a rigorous and applicable degree to talk to us from the Westminster bubble.

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  • First you tell them that there is a problem and they say there isn't a problem. Next they say that you are the problem.

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