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It feels cheap to play devil’s advocate

Dr Pete Deveson BLOG duo_3x2

I was in two minds about writing about Arvind Madan; I’ve never been one to kick a man when he’s down, and surely if we’ve learnt anything this month, it’s that using an online platform to express your pleasure at others’ misfortune can turn around and bite you on the bumbum.

Unless you’ve spent the last week under a rock, you will no doubt be aware of Dr Madan, who has resigned from NHS England after he conceded that his practice’s approach of employing bajillions of salaried GPs had distorted the local health economy and could be perceived as a … no wait, it seems we’re all fine with that for some reason.

OK, what he actually did was to use his position as NHS England Director of Primary Care to push the GP Forward View, which ringfences millions to be invested by CCGs in online consulting of dubious benefit… ok hang on apparently that wasn’t it either.

Turns out Dr Madan resigned because… *checks notes*… he, um, posted some comments on Pulse under a pseudonym and then kind of fudged his explanation of it.

It all feels to me a bit like Al Capone getting done for his tax returns

I know the postings have been described as ‘controversial’ but by Pulse standards they’re positively soporific. I’d encourage colleagues to check the output of another commenter, also self-identifying as ‘Devil’s Advocate’ and briefly misidentified as Dr Madan by the website digitalhealth, to get an idea of quite how much more interesting this story could have been.

Instead it all feels to me a bit like Al Capone getting done for his tax returns, but hats off nonetheless to Pulse’s own answer to Eliot Ness, Jaimie Kaffash, for revealing how the upper echelons of NHS England feel about those of us who actually do the work.

The most important aspect of this story has hitherto remained unaddressed; just as Ben Johnson relinquished his Olympic Gold to Carl Lewis when his doping became apparent, will Dr Madan now be giving up his coveted place in the Pulse Power 50, so that, *ahem*, previously lower-placed GPs might climb the ranks? Now that’s a ‘rationalisation of providers’ we can surely all get behind.

Dr Pete Deveson is a GP in Surrey