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NHS managers need to trust GPs



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August is a notoriously quiet time for news, leaving us journalists with little to talk about. I have to say, that’s not been my experience this week.

The resignation of Dr Arvind Madan as director of primary care on Sunday was hardly a surprise following his interview in Pulse, and – more importantly – the publicising of his comments under a pseudonym on PulseToday.

Now, I never like to see anyone lose their job, and I don’t doubt that Dr Madan did truly intend to improve general practice. Many people who spoke to him – and not just those who work with him at NHS England – spoke of his passion for general practice.

But the nature of his comments left him with no choice. For me, one of the most striking points was the mistrust of fellow GPs. In his resignation statement, he said that he was attempting to ‘challenge the negative views – and even conspiracy theories – held by a small but vocal minority in the profession’.

Only by listening to those on the frontline can we improve general practice for GPs and patients

If there is one lesson to learn from this mess, it is that we have to make sure this attitude does not persist. NHS England have to trust GPs when they hear horror stories. However sincere officials are in their belief that they are improving general practice, they need to listen to the GPs who point out the problems.

Only by listening to those on the frontline can we improve general practice for GPs and patients.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse