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GPs are fair game right now

GPs are fair game right now

The graffiti that was daubed on the wall of a GP practice was almost certainly done by a patient acting alone, who is almost certainly going through their own struggles.  The words ‘The doctors here don’t give a shit’ seems to be them lashing out after not getting the outcome they hoped for in an indefensible way. 

It is human nature to look for a scapegoat. Every single GP reading this will have angry, frustrated patients who probably choose to blame their GP for the struggles they are going through. Equally, there will be a number of patients who (again, wrongly) blame their hospital for not giving them the outcomes they wanted. And people blaming doctors – GPs or those in secondary care – has always been the case.

The problem is that we are now in an environment where a patient felt empowered to make this abuse against GPs public in the most horrible way. Yes, it might be a lone case. But let me ask you this: can you imagine a hospital being covered in graffiti like this? And if it was, wouldn’t you expect this to be a national news story?

But GPs are fair game. There are journalists on twitter looking for patients to decry their GP; there are columnists on twitter making false claims around GP practices being closed; and, of course, there was NHS England’s press release around the same issue. The latter is all the more galling when you see its reaction to a story attacking secondary care.

It wasn’t long ago that the public were clapping for the NHS because of the sacrifices they are making. But already, it looks like GPs have become the convenient scapegoat, despite making sacrifices themselves – some tragically. Unless the rhetoric from the media and the NHS changes, this will only get worse.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at



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john mccormack 28 October, 2020 5:36 pm

The long standing attacks on GPs by theTories and their right wing press allies have had a pernicious effect on the regard GPs are held in by the ‘average person on the Clapham omnibus’. Maybe GPs that vote for them should reflect on this. As full time GP numbers continue to fall it is the underprivileged who will pay the price for the reduction in service. Undoubtedly the Tories and their allies all have private health cover .

Slobbering Spaniel 29 October, 2020 8:59 am

The negative views of GPs are from all sides of the political spectrum.
We are perceived by many as lazy ,inaccessible and second rate, not like those clever hospital doctors.
The ‘ Royal’ college that is supposed to represent us is feeble, without clear direction and un -inspiring.

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Patrufini Duffy 30 October, 2020 5:57 pm

You are in the driving seat. Believe it or not. That is why they all blast you. Like rings on a tree, try get stronger and wiser with each battering. Countless countries need you and countless private companies too. The NHS will forever be void of credible, safe, staff acceptable to the British public, however many they try to steal from other countries. And you’re the world-leading Generalists that every health economy needs to balance it’s deficit sheets. The institutes are decimating medical morale knowingly. Who knows why. Probably, because there are other hidden agendas, players and fragmentation work at play. And they can’t even accept it or tell you that straight up. That is sad. But you’re not stupid. And don’t act stupid in front of them. Be aware, and be safe and you can use this to your advantage. Don’t let the inert managerial system break you, you’re worth more than that, and they know it under their priveleged blue collars, NHS branded letters, contractual threats and bullying egos.

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