This site is intended for health professionals only


The Government will get its comeuppance for the Cummings affair



Some people think Dominic Cummings is a slippery rule twister. Me though, I actually think he’s done us all a favour.

I’m no fan of rules myself – indeed one of the reasons I left hospital medicine as soon as I could was to avoid being bossed about by non-clinical managers.

Think about it, colleagues: next time the CQC, NHS England or some other officious body attempts to impose its will on you, you have been handed a ‘get out of jail free card’ by none less than the PM’s own senior adviser.

CQC called and want to do an inspection next week?

‘Sorry, we’re all away on a team building event at a local beauty spot that day.’

Missed a ‘crucial’ deadline for some data collection exercise for the Department of Health and Social Care?

‘Yes, apologies, but we were dealing with an excess number of ill children that day.’

Next time the CQC attempts to impose its will on you, you have been handed a ‘get out of jail free card’ 

Joking aside, it is staggeringly arrogant of Johnson to instruct everybody to draw a line under the Cummings affair, just because he has decided to.

The absolute worst part about it though, is Cummings refusal to accept he did wrong and apologise. We all make mistakes, none less than doctors. I would hope though, most of us are contrite enough to admit and apologise for our shortcomings when we have clearly and obviously done wrong.

How would anybody else, in a position of authority, be treated by their peers and professional body if they broke rules as blatantly as Cummings?

I have absolutely no doubt the media, quietly fuelled by the Government, would hammer away like a crazed blacksmith, demanding the resignation of a senior doctor who had transgressed in the way Cummings has.

To paraphrase Edmund Burke: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of the arrogant elite, is for the rest of us to roll over and have our tummies tickled.’

Dr David Turner is a GP in North West London