NHS England’s director of primary care, Dr Arvind Madan, has today resigned following comments made in an interview with Pulse. Here is his statement of resignation in full:
I am passionately committed to general practice and primary care in England. This is why I accepted a three year secondment from my GP practice to NHS England as Director of Primary Care and Deputy Medical Director.
That secondment comes to an end later this year, but it is clear to me that, sadly, I have lost the confidence of some of my colleagues, and I have therefore decided to resign my NHS England position.
As part of my attempts to challenge the negative views – and even conspiracy theories – held by a small but vocal minority in the profession I posted on an anonymous online forum used by GPs. It was never my intention to cause offence but rather to provoke a more balanced discussion about contentious issues acting as a devil’s advocate.
I wish to make it categorically clear that these comments are not a reflection of NHS England policy, and it is now clear to me that trying to move the debate on in this way is not compatible with my role as Director of Primary Care. Supporting general practice is too important an issue to allow it to be mired in unnecessary controversy.
I would like to apologise unreservedly to those who have been upset, particularly in smaller practices.
In my 23 year career as a frontline GP I have worked in practices of all sizes and have always believed that smaller practices serve a particularly crucial role. I know they work tirelessly, alongside all primary care colleagues, to serve their patients and perform a role that goes well beyond being their doctor. GPs in smaller practices serve a particularly vital role as a point of constancy in the lives of often very vulnerable patients. They know their patients intimately, see families through times of great difficulty, and often hold their communities together. They are also essential to ensuring general practice services reach every inner-city neighbourhood and rural community in England.
I also know that too many smaller practices are struggling, which is why I believe that working in collaboration with others in an integrated manner should form a key part of how we strengthen them and prevent practice closures.
The main focus of my work at NHS England has been to help design and deliver the General Practice Forward View. I remain convinced that, as it unfolds, it will form the foundation for transformation.
I am proud of what we achieved so far, and sorry that I am unable to help see it through. However, I have immense confidence in the inspirational individuals I have had the privilege to work with at NHS England, who are dedicated to supporting general practice, and wider primary care.