Angry doctors resign

THREE doctors have resigned from their positions on a primary care trust because they are angry over a perceived lack of influence on local issues.The GPs left Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust's professional executive committee in September and their positions have yet to be filled or advertised.

THREE doctors have resigned from their positions on a primary care trust because they are angry over a perceived lack of influence on local issues.

The GPs left Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust's professional executive committee in September and their positions have yet to be filled or advertised.

A Suffolk GP, who asked not to be named, revealed the reasons behind his colleagues' departure from the trust, which contains just over 100,000 patients covering 14 GP practices and has a £66 million annual budget.

He said: "I think they resigned because they felt unable to influence decision-making on a local level because the budget is so stretched that all the money is being spent following the government agenda. Local priorities are not being met.


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"The problem from a patient's point of view is that the primary care trust are spending all the money on bureaucracy and on managers who are not dealing with patients on a day-to-day basis and know what they need."

The resignations leave the primary care trust with only two GPs on the professional executive committee.

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"The thing about GPs is that they are in a very good position to represent patients and they have no axe to grind. If they are not on the committee, they cannot influence the decisions that are being made," said the GP.

He also claimed the primary care trust had not yet advertised the vacant committee positions to save money – committee members receive about £5,000 a year in allowances – and avoid any adverse publicity.

But that was denied by Ann Taylor, director of primary care at Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust, who said: "We have allowed those who have resigned an opportunity to reconsider their position.

"There have been letters back and forward between the chairman and the GPs and we felt that it was too soon at the committee's last meeting in October to agree a way forward."

Ms Taylor confirmed the GPs had resigned because of a dispute over local influence, adding: "That was the view of the three and clearly two others disagreed with that view.

"We have put a lot of effort in trying to address these points and we will be holding workshops with the committee members so they can take things to the board."

The professional executive committee is made up of many people working in the NHS, including health professionals, a social services representative and the chief executive of the primary care trust.

Ms Taylor was confident Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust would be able to find replacements for the three GPs, although she admitted any interviews would probably not take place until the new year.

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