The old leadership problem
From Dr Santiago Dargallo Nieto, Northampton
Dr Hamish Meldrum's latest comments (News, 8 March) show, in my view, a wish to cling to what little power the GPC chairmanship has rather than behave in an honourable fashion, tender his resignation and recommend the GPC withdraws from all negotiations.
In my view, Dr Meldrum's and the GPC's behaviour towards the Department of Health appears uncannily similar to that of the British Government towards the US Government – with the exception that there is
no claim to a 'special relationship'.
But the subservience is no less repugnant, as is the perceived betrayal of the principles on which they were elected: the defence of primary care's interests.
The GPC negotiators achieved excellent results when they first negotiated GMS2. Since then they appear to have not only be rested on their laurels but also behaved like lotus-eaters, their food being the paperwork generated in 2003/4 and the plaudits of the medical profession.
The results of this diet are, sadly the same: obfuscation, detachment of reality and lack of insight when it comes to viewing the current situation.
The GMS2 review in 2005 brought exactly the opposite of what was promised: more work for less pay.
The Department of Health
is set to breach our contract with regard to pensions and all our esteemed GPC leaders can do is flap around and cover their faces instead of developing a robust plan of action.
There has been a veritable campaign in the press against 'greedy GPs' and the response of the GPC and RCGP has been a deafening silence.
I feel Dr Meldrum and the rest of the GPC are a spent force and should do the honourable, and now extremely rare, thing and resign in protest at the tactics of the Government.
• From Dr Bernard Bedford, Southampton
I don't think anyone fully anticipated what the fallout from the nGMS contract was going to be; there are so many ramifications. I think Dr Hamish Meldrum has done his best in the circumstances but we are back to the old problem as to whether we should have a professional full-time leader/ negotiator like other unions.
We are being divided and losing clout and this needs a powerful response. As employees we are not so hard up we can't afford decent representation against the professional manipulators of the Department of Health.
What is also very worrying
is why have the dynamising factors for pensions still not been officially published?
The contract stated, as I understand it, that the annual dynamising factor can't be less than 1, but is someone trying to screw us out of what we deserve by finding minutiae in a clause that could stuff us?
• From Dr Jonathan Munday, Westminster
No, Dr Hamish Meldrum shouldn't resign from his post – that would deprive me of the joy of voting him and his team into oblivion at the next GPC election.