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Independents' Day

Thank you and goodbye

Editor’s blog

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The editorship of Pulse is passed on unceremoniously. There is no silver chain or seal of office, no induction procedure. The old editor clears his/her desk and a new one starts work the next day.

But something more important than the title passes to the new incumbent. Pulse has a proud heritage of nearly 60 years of supporting, informing and defending general practice, and a loyal audience built up through decades of being there through thick and thin.

But none of this can be taken for granted. Running a magazine these days is a precarious business; many a good publication has gone to the wall and the pace of change is faster than ever. You always have to bear in mind that today’s cover story will rapidly become tomorrow’s cat litter tray lining. Every editor has a responsibility to ensure their publication remains relevant to those they are writing for.

As I prepare to move to pastures new, I hope that is what I have done. Shone a light on what it is to be a GP in the modern NHS and chronicled the joy and the pain of a proud profession that has been at the front line of a brutal period of austerity. Investigated sensitive issues, such as physician burnout, practice closures and the shortage of GPs, and highlighted what they mean for the profession, patients and the wider NHS. Written editorials and punctured myths about ‘fat cat’ GPs in the national media.Commissioned and edited articles to inform and entertain GPs about the changing policy and clinical environment. Given a platform to those who have something important to say.

Our readers support is invaluable - you push us to be better journalists

My particular highlights include last month’s Pulse front cover, with its collage of GPs’ faces in the image of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, a whole issue edited by GP trainees, receiving a summons to provide advice to NHS chief executive Simon Stevens before the publication of the GP Forward View (perhaps wisely - he didn’t take it) and the time I hurriedly managed to borrow a tie and hide my trainers under the desk for a last-minute live BBC News interview. A low-light? Messaging Peverley for his (extremely) overdue column and getting back a picture of him in a hospital bed. Thanks, Phil.

It hasn’t always been easy and no doubt I’ve got some things wrong – journalism is an imperfect art at the best of times – but I have always felt enormously privileged to do this job. Pulse would be nothing without its readership of knowledgeable, sceptical, outspoken GPs. You push us to be better journalists and your support through the years – whether you have commented on an article, taken part in a survey, written for us or spoken to one of our team – has been invaluable.

Particular thanks go to all those GPs who have either allowed me to pick their brains and/or given me encouragement over the years; to Dr Shaba Nabi, Dr Zoe Norris, Dr Tony Copperfield and the other GPs who regularly write for us and bravely put their heads above the parapet, and most of all to my fantastic team here at Pulse. They work very hard and do a brilliant job.

The next issue will have a new portrait on this page and perhaps a new direction. But I am sure you’ll give the new editor as much support as you have shown me, and that Pulse will go onwards and upwards as a result. I will be watching with interest.

Nigel Praities is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @nigelpraities 

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Readers' comments (52)

  • Thank you Nigel for a great job. You have supported our profession in these difficult times and we will always remember you for that. We look forward to following the next chapter of your career. You will be greatly missed from this one!

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  • Good job - I'm glad journalism is still possible in this time of decline for print media! There have been some good scoops and investigations on your watch. Many thanks.

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  • Thank you and best wishes for the future

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  • Thank you for everything, Nigel - thank you for what you have done for all of us as a profession and for me as an individual. Pulse has been an incredibly important support through all my years as a GP in the UK and the go-to place to connect to my old colleagues after I took the difficult step of moving to Australia.
    I confess that, naively, I took your editorship for granted and it was only when I just read your words that I woke up - "What?? WHY???..No, this can't be true!! What will happen to PULSE?"
    I cannot thank you enough for providing such a strong pillar of support for all of us in such troubled times - for being there when Pulse seemed to be the only thing that still made sense to me and kept me sane. (If laughing hysterically at 3am while reading Peverley's column can be called "sane". Although I'm not so sure now that my husband appreciated being regularly woken up by my guffawing in the middle of the night and then having to listen to my reading out of entire passages interspersed with maniacal, indignant exclamations "See? What have I been telling you? See? I'm not the only one!"...)
    I echo the sentiments of all my colleagues who commented before me and wish you the very best for the future. Thank you. You will be sorely missed. Lydia

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  • Thank you, and best of luck for your next challenge!

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  • You've done a cracking job as editor of Pulse, Nigel. Thanks for backing us and backing what we are trying to do - to improve patient care and continue to maintain general practice. Best of luck in your new role - you will be sorely missed!

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  • Your articles were always good value, thank you and good luck

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  • You’ve run a great magazine and stood up for the truth. Good luck in your next job.

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  • Dearest Nigel
    Can I echo and multiply the words of so many comments here. I was very much touched by the words of Lydia Wood, Locum GP 29 Mar as well...

    I had the pleasure of meeting you twice and I remember well having a discussion with you regarding the content of Pulse and whether it would be good to shift the balance towards "Good News" stories. I remember well you looking me in the eye saying something like (and I am too old to remember word for word)

    "I have to be real to the stories and commentary that crosses my desk and in doing that transfer this to the magazine as fairly, honestly and as closely representative to the original as is possible - and so it is what it is."

    In doing this, Nigel, you have represented the passion and the facts, allowing the good the bad and the downright ugly be voiced in Pulse.

    In doing this also I know that you have reduced the isolation and helplessness that many have been feeling over the years and that this has improved and "saved" lives.

    For this and more I say thank you

    Best of luck


    ... you helped us stay awake...

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  • Thanks Nigel for having our corner, all the best

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