Clare Gerada, Anna Soubry and ‘part time’ doctors

Clare was great.

Anna Soubry was not.

Andrew Neil: Anna Soubry’s boss, Simon Burns, he claims you don’t represent the views of GPs up and down the country in opposing these health reforms. What do you say to that?

Clare Gerada: I think I do, I represent 44,000 GPs, of which over 90%, when we’ve surveyed them very recently, wanted me to ask for withdrawal of the bill, and that’s against the background of 1 and a half years of consultation, 3 surveys, 5 councils, 5 executive councils, a national conference, endless consultations, I can categorically tell you that my members of the Royal College of GPs do not want this bill. Some of the parts of the bill are good, I mean putting GPs in control of money, putting patients first, addressing health inequalities, but in it’s totality, the bill is a mess, the bill is flawed, and the bill will not achieve what you and Andrew Lansley and the Prime Minister are setting out to achieve.

Andrew Neil: She represents 90% of GPs..

Anna Soubry MP : I think she’s wrong. I don’t agree. Hang on, let me….let me tell you what I think. I go into my consistency, I talk to GPs, real GPs, on the ground, in my area, the consortia was formed before we got elected into government, they are putting into operation already what we are seeking to achieve, that is my experience in my constituency, with my GPs, and let me tell you this. I was approached by a doctor who lives in my consistency, but practices in Nottingham. And he took hold of me and said ‘for god’s sakes, get this bill through, so I can deliver the treatment to my patient, that I want to do’.

AN: But that’s anecdotal evidence. Her evidence is surveys and conferences …

AS: But I’m talking about life at the real end.

AN: ..why should your anecodal evidence be.more important than hers?

AS: I didn’t say it was, I didn’t say it was more important, I think…

CG: I work as a GP, we’re part of one of the first waves –

AS: But you work part time.

I thought I might feel less angry about this since it was broadcast on the 23/2/12, but I don’t.

Sourby seems to think we need reform, but also says that GPs are already providing what she wants the NHS to achieve. She notes the survey from the RCGP, but believes only the evidence she has personally come across. (Has she received no letters of dissent?) She believes that a GP who works in Nottingham can’t provide a service to patients that he wants to and therefore needs reform of the law to do so (what service? Private enterprise is the major incentive to this bill – is that what he wanted? )

But what makes me really angry was Soubry’s dismissal of Clare Gerada’s knowledge of life at the front end as a GP because she was ‘part time’. I don’t think I’ve heard this put down used quite so dismissively in some time, and interestingly, I’ve never heard it used against a man – and also, many doctors work ‘part time’ in clinical care because of academic, management or other commitments – do we deride them equally as part-timers? What I do when I’m not at work is just as important – why do we degrade caring for family as a reason to somehow be stripped of ability?

Clare Gerada is clearly working full time plus – as a GP but also as chair of the largest College at a tumultous time in the NHS. To attempt to play the ‘part time card’ is unintelligent and unfair not just to Clare but to the thousands of part time doctors in the UK who work hard and who have just as much right and ability to know what is happening in the front line – and who know that this health bill is bad for patients, and will worsen inequalities – and who know that the government are not listening to them.

I’m still angry.

 

35 Responses to “Clare Gerada, Anna Soubry and ‘part time’ doctors”

  1. Catherine Geldart February 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Typical Tory arrogance. Makes me angry too and I only know Dr. Gerada from Twitter. She’s got more credibility and moral fibre than the lot of them. Times 100.

  2. Peter English February 27, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Spot on, Margaret!

  3. Alan Henness February 27, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    That is disgusting. Anna Soubry should be thoroughly ashamed of herself.

  4. colin forster February 27, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Clare Gerada implies that 90% of her 44000 members oppose the bill. In fact the survey question she refers to had less than 3000 responses. Support for dropping bill is therefore near 5% of the membership.

  5. Alan Henness February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Just watched Soubry’s performance. She’s 100 times more arrogant and disgusting and her disdain for Clare comes across far stronger than the transcript conveys.

  6. Alan Henness February 27, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Even though she is not my MP, I decided to email Anna Sourby:

    Anna

    I have just watched last Thursday’s Daily Politics show and found your behaviour and attitude towards Dr Clare Gerada thoroughly disgusting and reprehensible.

    Your disdain for the elected representative of 44,000 GPs on the grounds that Dr Gerada only works part time as a GP and because you had spoken to some GPs in your constituency who supported the Health and Social Care Bill was arrogant in the extreme.

    Whenever I need healthcare from the NHS, I want all the different parts of it to cooperate with each other and not to compete – you are dismantling and systematically destroying all that is good in it in the name of competition.

    It’s time that your Government actually started to listen to those who know how their patients will be affected by your ideologically-motivated ‘reforms’ and abandon both Andrew Lansley and this despicable Bill.

    Yours,

    Alan

    cc Andrew Lansley MP, Simon Burns MP, Barry Gardiner MP

    It won’t make one whit of a difference, of course, but it had to be said.

  7. Alan Henness February 27, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    colin forster said:

    Clare Gerada implies that 90% of her 44000 members oppose the bill. In fact the survey question she refers to had less than 3000 responses. Support for dropping bill is therefore near 5% of the membership.

    Yes, she fluffed that bit. But she does represent those 44,000 GPs and she said:

    against the background of 1 and a half years of consultation, 3 surveys, 5 councils, 5 executive councils, a national conference, endless consultations, I can categorically tell you that my members of the Royal College of GPs do not want this bill.

  8. Colin Forster February 27, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    To Alan Henessy – but the RCGP was not in favour of dropping the bill until this badly flawed survey was published. She gives no details of any of the numbers involved in the other consultations so the evidence is surely little better than anecdotal.

  9. Andrew Cooper February 27, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Many thanks for publishing the transcript. I agree that it doesn’t convey the full extent of the disdain and animosity that was evident Sourbry’s face. Can she (or, indeed, Colin Forster) seriously believe that the majority of GPs support this deeply flawed bill?

    The answer, of course, is – thanks to the wonders of cognitive bias – they can. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    The Conservatives started out in power believing that the master plan they’d hatched in opposition was the final solution to the NHS. A bill that would lead to virtually all funding for NHS provision being diverted to the private sector providers who funded so much of the Conservative’s and Libdem’s election campaigns and continue to pump £100s of millions into lobbying both party’s MPs. And, by allowing the possibility of co-charging/top-up payments by those who could (or even those who couldn’t) afford them, Lansley and Cameron hope to lay the basis for an insurance funded, two tier USA style NHS. These are serious intentions. They are determined, as Cameron, says, to ‘force’ the bill through.

    Later in the same interview Sourby said she was ‘insulted’ (I think was the word) that people were suggesting the Coalition are privatising the NHS. She presumably has very little understanding of both her government’s bill or what privatisation actually means. There are different forms of privatisation and the bill incorporates at least five of them . A bill which puts not only the delivery but the planning of healthcare (via the commissioning companies, including American owned HMOs, who will inevitably be brought in when GPs find they cannot do without their services) into the hands of businesses which will put the interests of shareholders before those of patients certainly involves privatisation.

    If the Conservatives had been more honest about their intentions and motives I don’t think they’d be in the mess they’re in. Instead, Cameron, Lansley and Clegg have been forced to bury their intentions, knowing that they’d be unacceptable to the majority of the electorate. Instead they have based their defence of the bill almost entirely on ad hominem attacks on those who oppose it and attempts to undermine the opposition. Hence Sourby’s unbelievably cheap and desparate jibe.

    This personality based attack on opposition (who they also characterise as ‘trades unions’ and as ‘vested interests’) betrays their political inexperience and complete lack of leadership ability. It also betrays, I think, the fact the vast majority of special advisers in the Cameron/Clegg Whitehall have a journalistic background rather than a grounding in policy development and analysis. Sourby started her career as a journalist.

    Unfortunately, with Labour in complete disarray and the Libdems terrified of a snap election, Cameron and Clegg will probably get their bill. May they rue the day.

    Apologies for the length of this but I’m quite angry too! @andrewzcooper

  10. Kim Holt February 27, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    The idea that doctors and nurses would be able to plan the care for their patients sounds great and exactly the way things should be. In reality GPs will not be able to carry out commissioning for their own patients; they will need commissioining support from private companies. This was one of the things that Clare G was trying to explain last week.

    Each time a service is put out to tender the existing provider is in limbo; high quality staff leave and patients are unsure what is happening, and we are unable to refer to it.
    For long term conditions continuity of care is important and so this tendering effect works against the aims of the BIll.

    I work with vulnerable children who have not always got parents advocating for their well being, and so I am acting as a paediatrician and patient advocate.
    I do not see any way that these reforms would improve the services available for the children with whom we work, indeed I have seen a gradual erosion over the past 10 to 15 years of access to services for the most vulnerable. The increased focus on targets rather than outcome has drained resources away from those parts of the health service with less of a voice. This is my opinion.
    We need to bring back more care and humanity to the NHS .

    Dr Kim Holt
    Consultant Paediatrician CCH.

  11. Dorothy Bishop February 27, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I was also struck by the “real GPs” comment. It’s exactly parallel to a comment I had when I pointed out that a systematic review of randomised controlled trials found no evidence of effectiveness for a particular commercial treatment for children’s developmental problems. The person who invented the treatment (who did have a scientific background and should have known better) dismissed the RCT evidence and said she had evidence that is worked from “real children in real schools”.
    Is there some kind of handbook for defending yourself against evidence-based attacks where they recommend such arguments?

  12. Sue Gerrard February 27, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    In order to run any service, a bit of relevant expertise doesn’t go amiss. It’s not enough to think that because you have a legal background it’s simply a case of setting out legislation regardless of how workable it is and expect everyone with expertise to simply do as they are told.

  13. nigel tthompson February 27, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    You’re angry? So am i. When arguments become mixed, anecdotal and personal then that person is in a corner and taking hits. When daily mail tells a conservative government ‘woah! Thats a bit strong’, you are seriously too far in the mire.
    Clare Gerada knows what she’s talking about.

  14. Alan Henness February 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Colin Forster said:

    but the RCGP was not in favour of dropping the bill until this badly flawed survey was published. She gives no details of any of the numbers involved in the other consultations so the evidence is surely little better than anecdotal.

    I’ve not looked up the RCGP’s constitution, but I would assume that Clare was elected to represent the College’s members as and when appropriate. As such, is she not entitled to speak on their behalf without the need for a ballot of all members on every specific point? If the members think that she is taking the wrong stance, I presume there will be democratic means to remove her.

  15. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney February 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    The RCGP tried to work with government for a long time in order to make the bill less of a threat to the NHS. You can’t force people to vote, thank goodness, and it’s quite clear that views of GP members of the RCGP have been sought, and there has been no evidence of support for the bill, and there has been great deal of opposition to it.

    The survey wasn’t flawed; it was a survey; it can only tell you the views of the people who replied. I think it’s inaccurate to transpose the numbers of respondents to the membership of the RCGP, but it’s also correct to say that there is strong evidence that GPs don’t want it. The RCGP has a structure which represents members, and that is used to ensure grassroot opinion makes it’s way to Council.

    It’s a great pity that people worried about the survey of GPs aren’t just as worried about Soubry’s anecdotes and non evidence based plans for dismantling the NHS.

    Dorothy’s right, I reckon that the media trainer for Tory Health says; whenever they focus on evidence, find a personal line of attack, and remember the GP who grabbed you by the arm and pleaded you to save (what exactly? plans for private practice?)

  16. Colin Forster February 28, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    Alan & Margaret,

    If the RCGP President wants to say “I’m in charge, I’ve felt the pulse, and this is what we’ll do then so be it, but to decide on the basis of a dishonest survey is unacceptable.

    The survey is dishonest because of:
    Q4. Do you think it is appropriate to seek the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill?

    Anyone answering no to this takes themselves out of the survey (count the numbers – they dont answer Q5 or Q6). The results of Q5 and Q6 are then 98% and 90% yes, numbers which are then quoted in the press and on Twitter).

    In fact, 1863 voted strongly or very strongly to withdraw from an a total response of 3119 (59.7%)

    In October, 1413 voted strongly or very strongly to withdraw out of a total response of 1906 (74%).

    So the percentage of respondents keen to withdraw FELL substantially between Oct and Jan. Of the extra responders in Jan, more than half were against!

    Of course, the Govt side make stuff up too, but we are supposed to be better tham them, aren’t we?

  17. Alan Henness February 28, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Colin Forster said:

    “If the RCGP President wants to say “I’m in charge, I’ve felt the pulse, and this is what we’ll do then so be it, but to decide on the basis of a dishonest survey is unacceptable.”

    The survey – dishonest or not – is a red herring. Clare is the Chair of the RCGP and represents all 44,000 of them. As I understand it, it’s slightly more than a dismissive ‘I’ve felt the pulse’.

  18. Margaret McCartney
    margaretmccartney February 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m slightly alarmed and bewildered at an email reply I had back from Ms Souby where she infers that she is being bullied by, I think, emailers to her.
    This was my email

    Dear Ms Soubry
    I write with concern about your use of the term ‘part time’ when discussing the validity of Dr Gerada’s arguments on the Daily Politics show.
    Perhaps you do not realise, but although I may be part time (2 days, 23 hours a week) I am fully committed to my vocation and well aware of what is happening in the NHS.
    I found your arguments patronising and demeaning to myself as a part time worker.
    Perhaps you would like to address this either in reply or on my blog http://www.margaretmccartney.com/blog/?p=1341

    best wishes
    Margaret McCartney

    I don’t think this is anything other than a straightforward complaint. If anyone disagrees, please tell me.
    I’ve asked her to clarify.
    For the record, I am not part of any organised campaign against Ms Soubry. I’m not aware that there is one. I think that bullying is unacceptable.
    I’ll ask if I can post her reply.

  19. Alan Henness February 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I got a reply from Soubry:

    Dear Mr Hennessy, [sic]
    Thank you for your email. The first two paragraphs were identical to another one I received later yesterday. Your analysis of the Bill is wrong fuelled by prejudice, stereotyping and deliberate misinformation.
    The Government remains committed to an NHS financed by general taxation and free for all to use when they need it. The Bill, for the first time integrates services and I would urge you to read it.
    For the record Dr. Gerada asserts three quarters of her members want the Bill withdrawn. She fails to explain that is based on a survey to which only 6% of her members responded. This rather supports the evidence that GP’s throughout England are getting on with forming commissioning groups and in effect implementing some of the most important parts of the Health and Social Care Bill.

    With best wishes,

    Anna Soubry

    This called for a reply:

    Anna

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my email.

    I find it astonishing that you have tried to tell me how I have come to my views on the Bill – it is exceedingly arrogant and ill-informed since you know nothing about how I came to hold the views I do.

    However, you have singularly failed to address the issue I raised: that of your dismissal and your display of sheer contempt for Dr Gerada.

    The survey of RCGP members is a red herring. Dr Gerada is the elected Chair of the RCGP and, as such, it is her duty to represent all 44,000 members. What you did on the Daily Politics show was to deride her representative status and dismiss her stance on the basis of your personal anecdote that you had talked to some GPs in your constituency and because Dr Gerada only worked part time as a GP. It was those that I found reprehensible.

    I would have hoped that an MP would have had a better grasp of critical thinking and argumentation skills and would not have to resort to such condescending behaviour.

    I would respectfully suggest that if you want to win over any of the electorate to your view, it would be helped by keeping your contempt of those who disagree with you to yourself and argue on the facts and evidence, not personal insults.

    Alan

    I am dismayed that she finds expressions of annoyance at her unprofessional attitude as ‘bullying’.

  20. Am Ang Zhang February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    A very verbal supporter of Cons. is only a Locum GP!!! Enough said.

  21. Matt Beestonia February 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    As one of Soubry’s constituents and the writer of a blog that has been charting her career since she came to power, this sadly doesn’t shock me. It’s a typically Soubry tactic: dismiss all criticism as choreographed attacks on herself, conjure up unlikely anecdotes and then tell outright untruths.
    She recently told BBC Five Live that ‘All the GPs in Broxtowe support the bill’. I instantly got an email from one who didn’t. Its reminiscent of the time she claimed the postal workers at the local sorting office all supported privatisation. This led to the biggest march in Beeston in a century, and a humiliating presentation of a giant postcard with signatures of posties who didn’t support the reform.
    She does have one GP friend she often quotes and uses as support, and he’s just been selected by the local tories to stand for election in a forthcoming local by-election. He presumable speaks for all GPs in Anna’s eyes. Google ‘beestonia’ and ‘soubry’ for acres of coverage of the wretched woman.

  22. steve February 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Hi – another “part-timer” here.
    There is a more fundamental issue here. Within the ranks of the Tory party there is a whole swathe of people who view the State provision of free-at-the-point-of-use health care as a complete anathema.
    The creeping privatisation of the NHS in England, started by New (i.e. not) Labour will be accelerated by this Bill. Fundamentally private companies are first and foremost about maximising profits, executive pay packets and share holder dividends.
    Can someone please explain to me how such an ethos will help to improve the NHS as a free-at-the-point-of-use service available the length and breadth of the country, no matter how remote and rural your location is? How will this ethos avoid cherry picking and the creation of a two tier service? And before anyone asks, yes, I have read the Bill (though with over a thousand amendments I may be a bit out of touch…) and these are the conclusions I have come to.
    Fortunately I live and work in Scotland where we will no have to take one iota of this Bill should the Tories “force it through” (such a democratic phrase). So if you have real concerns about this Bill the answer is simple – move to Scotland.

  23. Colin Forster February 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    To Matt Beestonia,

    I have just listened to Ms Soubry’s contribution on BBC IPlayer Radio 5 Live Weekend Breakfast Sat 25th Feb (about 2hrs 45min in). She simply DOES NOT SAY that ALL GPs in her constituency support the Bill. Listen again.

  24. Alan Henness February 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Colin Forster said:

    To Matt Beestonia,

    I have just listened to Ms Soubry’s contribution on BBC IPlayer Radio 5 Live Weekend Breakfast Sat 25th Feb (about 2hrs 45min in). She simply DOES NOT SAY that ALL GPs in her constituency support the Bill. Listen again.

    The show can be heard here. At 2:49:50 (this link will start at this point), there is this exchange:

    (I think I’ve transcribed this accurately, but feel free to offer corrections.)

    Soubry: “I think one of the problems is…is that we…I mean I only know what GPs tell me, GPs in my constituency when I talk to them and they can’t wait for the health Bill to come into force and go through. That, that’s my experience…”

    Presenter: “All of it?”

    Soubry: “Yeah, yeah, absolutely, that’s what my GPs are telling me. Emmm…and I think what we have to do now is…”

    Presenter: “I find that remarkable if I’m honest.”

    Soubry: “I’m not being…I’m not being…I don’t make things up. What you see is what you get with me and I can assure you that is what GPs in my constituency have told me. My consortia was [sic] up and running before the Bill came into being and my consortia is [sic] already enacting those fundamental parts of it which is shifting power back to GPs working with other health professionals to deliver better care for all of us. That’s already happening. It’s certainly happening in my constituency and very successfully so.”

    She clearly said “that’s what my GPs are telling me”. Bearing in mind she’s there to represent all her constituents, it’d be a bit odd if what she really meant was that it was just the Tory GPs who were telling her they supported the Bill. It comes across to me that she is claiming all the GPs in her constituency are supporting the Bill.

    If she meant just the ones she had talked to – very possibly a biased sample, of course – supported the Bill, then she should be more careful with her language.

    But there is still the issue that she arrogantly dismissed the views of the representative of the RCGP on utterly spurious and mendacious grounds.

    But one question: there seems to be a lot of activity implementing a Bill long before it has become an Act. Under what authority are they doing this and what happens if the Bill isn’t passed?

    Soubry’s GPs seem to be “enacting those fundamental parts of it which is shifting power back to GPs working with other health professionals to deliver better care for all of us.” If they’re already able to do that, why do we need a Bill?

    And it’s not just them. The CHRE are also implementing parts of the Bill long before it becomes an Act. Is it normal procedure for a Government to prejudge the outcome of vote in Parliament? Or just arrogance?

  25. Colin Forster March 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Alan, your transcription seems accurate and what it says that she said is that the GPs who have spoken to her have supported the bill. This is not necessarily all of the GPs in her constituency, even if she does represent them all.

    On the other hand, Clare Gerada did demonstrably claim that 98% of her members supported withdrawal of the bill. This when only 7% responded to her survey and only 75% of that 7% thought that it was even appropriate for the RCGP to ask for such a thing.

  26. Alan Henness March 4, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Colin Forster said:

    Alan, your transcription seems accurate and what it says that she said is that the GPs who have spoken to her have supported the bill. This is not necessarily all of the GPs in her constituency, even if she does represent them all.

    It is, at best, sloppy language.

    On the other hand, Clare Gerada did demonstrably claim that 98% of her members supported withdrawal of the bill. This when only 7% responded to her survey and only 75% of that 7% thought that it was even appropriate for the RCGP to ask for such a thing.

    So she did. And she was wrong. It is also a red herring, as I said, for the reasons I’ve already given.

    The fundamental problem here is that Soubry seems to think that her anecdotes about some (self-selected?) GPs in her constituency somehow automatically trumps or cancels out what the elected representative of 44,000 GPs says.

    And her attitude stinks.

  27. Colin Forster March 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Alan, the bogus survey is not a red herring:

    a. Ms Gerada is using that survey result to justify her position. (“4% of my members think we should ask for the Bill’s withdrawal” would not have got her on national television, would it?)

    b. others including Ben Goldacre and the Leader off the Opposition have repeated it ad nauseum.

    c. she was elected chair of a non-political organization. Many of its members do not even think it appropriate that the RCGP should lobby in this way.

    d. I have not seen any correction or apology from her for being “wrong”.

    e. If the survey was deliberately designed, and then the results mis-represented, to support a pre-determined political position, then this also stinks.

  28. Alan Henness March 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Colin Forster said:

    Alan, the bogus survey is not a red herring:

    a. Ms Gerada is using that survey result to justify her position.

    As I said, she was wrong to imply that, but that is not the only basis for her authority, is it?

    b. others including Ben Goldacre and the Leader off the Opposition have repeated it ad nauseum.

    That is something you will have to take up with them.

    c. she was elected chair of a non-political organization. Many of its members do not even think it appropriate that the RCGP should lobby in this way.

    I’m not aware that the RCGP is forbidden from being ‘political’ and I’m sure that just about any view on health provision could be construed as such.

    On what do you base your belief that “Many of its members do not even think it appropriate that the RCGP should lobby in this way”? A survey, perhaps? :-)

    d. I have not seen any correction or apology from her for being “wrong”.

    Neither have I. Have you taken this up with her?

    e. If the survey was deliberately designed, and then the results mis-represented, to support a pre-determined political position, then this also stinks.

    I’m sure the survey was ‘deliberately designed’, but whether it was deliberately designed to mislead, I have no idea. Survey design is a minefield of bias.

    She still represents 44,000 GPs, though.

  29. Alan Henness March 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Sorry, I got the blockquotes messed up – I hope it’s still readable.

  30. Jonathan Silvey March 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I’m one of Anna Soubry’s constituents. I too wrote to her about the NHS BilI recently.
    Her reply included this statement
    “… There has been a huge amount of misinformation and plain lies about the Bill and I hope the following puts the record straight. I concede we may not have done a good job in explaining the Bill and dispelling the myths about it, but at its heart it secures the future of an NHS funded by the tax payer and free at the point of delivery. about the Bill and I hope the following puts the record straight. ”

    That phrase “and plain lies” got me. I wrote back that “I also think it is not helpful to use words like ‘plain lies’ which would not be acceptable in the debating chamber.” She replied ” I am sorry you took offence at the words “plain lies” – I was writing an email not in a debating chamber! Apologies for the offence.”

    So it seems it is OK to lower standards when using email. Her reply also implies I am gullible in believing” misinformation and lies”.

    The current issue of our local paper has two letters complaining that she has not answered letters from critics of the Bill.

  31. Brox March 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    “And her attitude stinks.”

    It used to but, after a while, you can’t smell it any more.

    Desperate.
    InBroxtowe.

    The never-ever home of Spitball Soubry.
    (as she still appears to live outside the constituency..)

  32. Colin Forster March 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Alan,

    On point c. above: I know that many of the RCGP members think it inappropriate to ask for withdrawal, because in the very survey which yielded the Putin-esque 98%, Q4 asked this very thing and only 1905 out of 3119 respondents thought it was appropriate. How many who did not respond to the survey are likely to have had a similar view?

  33. Alan Henness March 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Colin said:

    On point c. above: I know that many of the RCGP members think it inappropriate to ask for withdrawal, because in the very survey which yielded the Putin-esque 98%, Q4 asked this very thing and only 1905 out of 3119 respondents thought it was appropriate. How many who did not respond to the survey are likely to have had a similar view?

    We can speculate on what other members may or may not feel about various issues and how representative that survey was till the cows come home, but regardless of what you and I believe, she still represents 44,000 GPs. However, if the members do not think she is fairly representing their views, then I am sure there will be internal democratic means to correct that situation.

  34. John Carter March 13, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    I chanced across this blog and was amazed at the blind ignorance of those like Alan Henness who seem unable to see that the NHS needs & can be improved. If your political leaning is left then of course anyone but Labour (New or Old) is regarded as the devil incarnate. But where were these voices of doom when competition was introduced by New Labour and the millstone of PFI was launched on the unsuspecting public. If you people here want to get angry then for heavens sake get real ! One assumes this is the same serial Alan Henness mentioned as the “… one individual, Alan Henness, has made complaints against over 500 individual chiropractors to the Statutory Regulator for chiropractors, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).” ?

  35. Alan Henness March 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    John Carter said:

    “I…was amazed at the blind ignorance of those like Alan Henness who seem unable to see that the NHS needs & can be improved.”

    Can you explain how you managed to jump to the conclusion that a) I am blindly ignorant and b) that I am unable to see that the NHS needs & can be improved?

    “One assumes this is the same serial Alan Henness mentioned as the “… one individual, Alan Henness, has made complaints against over 500 individual chiropractors to the Statutory Regulator for chiropractors, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC).” ?”

    I’m not sure what a ‘serial Alan Henness’ is, but can you explain why you think this is relevant to the question at hand: that of whether the Chair of the RCGP represents 44,000 GPs?

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