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Sorry, Hamish, I couldn’t make the protest

I was interested to read Dr Helena McKeown’s piece about the recent protests in London

(Your views: ‘Why I’m marching for the NHS on Saturday’)

Why I decided not to march is summed up in this email I wrote to the organiser:

‘Please pass my apologies for not attending to Dr Hamish Meldrum, but I’ll be sitting in my surgery on Saturday 10 April delivering public services for nothing because of a union’s failure to negotiate with the Government.

‘I resigned in protest for a year, but that got me nowhere. My LMC never bothered to ask why. I rejoined, as some sort of representation is better than none. I’ll continue to do my best to care for my patients while playing the Government’s supposedly negotiated reimbursement game, until my myocardium gives out or the private sector has taken over.

‘The nation will get an NHS GP in the guise of Virgin Healthcare or – God forbid – Easy-doc. But it will have lost its independent clinicians who want the best for their patients and the nation and not the shareholder.’

From Dr Simon Ruffle, Twyford, Berkshire