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Hospital distances itself from surgeon’s anti-GP remarks in the Daily Mail

The hospital that employs the surgeon who branded general practice as ‘no longer fit for purpose’ in a Daily Mail article has distanced itself from his opinions, stating that it values the ‘excellent contribution’ GPs make

The intervention from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust came after Professor J Meirion Thomas wrote last week that GPs are ‘geographically and professionally isolated from the nourishing influences of mainstream medicine in hospitals’ and ‘simply do not keep up with the latest developments in healthcare’.

His article, which branded general practice as ‘impersonal’, ‘inhospitable’ and ‘outmoded’, also accused the GPC of ‘holding the public and NHS to ransom’ and said that calls for more GPs and greater funding was ‘hysteria’.

But in a statement issued by the hospital, chief executive Cally Palmer and medical director Professor Martin Gore, said that Professor Thomas made his comments independently and without consulting staff at the hospital.

They said: ‘The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust would like to make it clear that Professor Thomas’s views are entirely his own and in no way reflect the opinion of those working at The Royal Marsden.

‘We do not share, condone or support the views he has expressed. It is important to state that all individuals are entitled to express a view. They are not, however, entitled to speak on behalf of an organisation without that organisation’s consent. Professor Thomas did not seek or receive this organisation’s consent to either article.

‘The Royal Marsden is very proud of its good working relationships with our GP colleagues, particularly through our GP engagement programme and referral process, and we value their experience, knowledge and the excellent contribution they make within the NHS.’

The statement comes after GP leaders hit back at the Daily Mail article, in a letter to Pulse last week. Meanwhile BMA chair Dr Mark Porter has described Prof Thomas’s words as ‘wildly inaccurate’, and the Resilient GP group branded his article ‘downright malicious’.

Grassroots GPs have also expressed their outrage over Prof Thomas’s statements, with a GP-led petition that calls on the GMC to prevent Prof Thomas from making any further disrespectful comments about GPs to the media gaining nearly 1,400 signatures since it launched five days ago.

Prof Thomas was approached by Pulse for his response, but declined to comment.