Letter to Jeremy Hunt regarding his “name and shame” policy

Dear Mr Hunt,

The Mail on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph reported on 29th June 2014 that you had indicated that GPs who inadvertently fail to refer a person with cancer early enough would be “named and shamed” on the internet by the Department of Health.

You may have been aware that as a result of this there was a robust response from GPs and, to a lesser extent, the general public. In the space of 48 hours over 650 signatures were collected in support of a letter to the relevant newspapers. We include an excerpt from the letter below.

Despite the reports of the newspapers, which one could attribute to exuberant spin, you have recently been quoted as saying:

I don’t believe in naming and shaming GPs, I believe in using data to identify outliers … I believe if GPs are outliers on cancer diagnosis they would want to know this information.

We would make 2 comments on this:

  1. We believe GPs deserve to have a written press release explaining exactly what you mean about the identification of outliers, including the evidence for effectiveness, the mechanism, the organisation, the cost and the implications. This should be negotiated properly with the GPC prior to any further announcements.
  2. We are concerned that identifying outliers will invariably lead to “naming and shaming”. If you are determined to collect this details of outliers, we would want reassurances to prevent identifying information being published or leaked to the media.

At the RCGP conference in Harrogate, October 2013, you asked GPs to judge you on your actions and not your words. Putting aside the rise in workload, drop in income in real terms, drastic fall in junior doctors applying for GP training and introduction of schemes without evidence of effectiveness, we would like to point out that your words have already had devastating consequences and have been twisted and amplified by certain sections of the press.

GPs need to be supported, not bullied; they are doing an excellent job – politicians and some journalists need to stop attacking them. We look forward to clarity in this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Resilient General Practice

Samir Dawlatly
John Cosgrove
Siobhan Stapleton
Rachel Blackman
Lesley Long
Freda Bhatti
Michelle Sinclair
Toby Helliwell
Milan Mehta
Juhi Saltzstein
Michael Simmons
Afsheen Tanveer
Melvin Xavier
Andy Shum
Amy small
Rhianna McClymont
Manzur Haque
Gregory Tyson
Hussain Gandhi
Anjana Mahadevan
Emily Leadbeater
Nadia Sohail
Mairéad McMahon
Yasasthrie Athapattu
Aditya Narkar
Katie Bramall-Stainer
Olayemi Kekere-Ekun Olubajo
Sam D’Lattlee
Lorna Macgregor
Sophie Galloway
Mamta Suresh
Surangi Mendis
Upeka Ranasinghe
Deborah Webb
Rachael Morris
Kailash Chand Malhotra
Val Hudson
Sue Wallis
Suneel Saini
Natalia Lomatschinsky
Matt Varrier
Jeff Foster
Gemma Greenacre
Helen Walker
Kosala  Perera
Mohammed Salim
Charlie Moody
Alan Woodall
Louise Whereat
Arjuna Singanayagam
Danielle Rahman
O Adedayo
Ngawang Sherpa
Joy Godding
Alistair Jones
Iram Rizvi
Desiree Dr Bergmann
Nicola Ashley
Shalini Urs
Liza Osagie
Alexis Park ✯
William Gordon-Wright
Thirza Deboo
Kulsum Ansari
Naomi Taylor
VIj Kud
Sarah Akram
Evon Leung
Marwa Hilmi
Seimone Potter
Chris Reid
David McLees
Koustubh Gupte
Hemali Parekh
Charley-Vic Walshe
Zafar Ullah
Helen Phillips
Ruchika Gupta
Magdalena Kostka
Carmel Malone
Beth McCarron-Nash
Ruth Moloney
Sarah Worboys
Peter Martin
Ellen Sibly
Cemile Jones
Ruth Marchant
Kathryn Hogg
Indrani Mitra
Pamela Jordan-Byrne
Ellen Dean
Simon Dent
Sarah  Beer
Richard Woollett
Amina Shamtally
Sophie Moss
Vipul Parbat
Fran Ferner
Haroon Butt
shashidhar khandavalli
W EY
Munawar Nabil Choudhuri
Aisha Bhaiyat
Amisha Patel
Kirsten Kassyk
Girish Malde
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