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My hope for a better 2022

Short-term boost

I don’t think many GPs will be too sad to see the end of 2021. The constant media attacks, the hardening stance of NHS England and the Government, the failure of the Government to drive Covid cases down – there is not too much to cheer.

But there might be reason to be positive for 2022. I honestly think Dr Farah Jameel will serve as an excellent chair of the English BMA GP Committee. (And commiserations to Dr Chandra Kanneganti, who has done excellent work as the chair of the British International Doctors Association especially.)

As we state in our cover feature, Dr Jameel has a lot in her in-tray. She has already been subject to an attack from the Daily Mail, even before her election was confirmed – which is an essential badge of honour for any GPC chair.

It goes without saying that contract talks and potential industrial action will be priorities. But for me, her biggest task will be around changing the prevailing narrative around general practice. The BMA had been making good progress in sending the message that general practice was in crisis. This has been derailed in recent months with the media onslaught, followed by attacks from NHS England and the health secretary.

NHS England and Sajid Javid have shown that public opinion – at least that put forward by the right-wing press – is the driving factor in policy. I genuinely feel Dr Jameel has the presence, the knowledge and the charisma to shift opinion, and with it government policy. Her interviews – including on GB News – have put forward powerfully GPs’ case in a way that is not simply technical, but speaks to the public. For me, this is even more important than negotiation skills at this point (which is not to denigrate her negotiation skills, of which I know nothing).

Dr Jameel might not be able to do much about Covid. But if she can change the narrative then it will have an effect in both the GP consultation room and the NHS England negotiation room. Both of which will be essential to avoid a similar year to this.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at This is an abridged version of the editorial that will appear in the December 2021 issue of Pulse


Vinci Ho 24 November, 2021 1:42 pm

(1)I tipped Farah to win when I was chatting with my honourable Liverpool LMC secretary , albeit the fact that she was never a GP partner .
(2) Of course , this is the hardest and most extraordinary moment in our recent history of general practice.
Of course ,some may not be that hopeful taking into account of the track record of BMA.
Having said that , I can only say this battle must go on . Obviously , capitulation is always an option and we are all free to leave through the exit door (if circumstances allow).
(3) Ups and downs are simply characteristics of life . Are we really right at the bottom of a ‘down’ ? Then logically ,the only way is ‘up’ in that case , no matter how dark the tunnel remains .
Call me naive . This is my belief looking at my mother with expressive dysphasia , right hemiparesis and a NG tube in place for feeding in a hospital bed , having developed a dense stroke three weeks ago .

‘’I don’t know where I’m goin’
But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday
An’ I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time
Here I go again, here I go again’’

All the best , Farah 😎

Patrufini Duffy 25 November, 2021 12:02 pm

Thank you Pulse team for 2021. The only pulse that seems to be regular, alive and on time in these questionable times.