England’s most senior GP QUITS his post after sparking fury by using fake ‘Devil’s Advocate’ profile to troll ‘workshy and greedy’ NHS doctors
- Dr Arvind Madan has resigned after he trolled medics online using a fake profile
- The top NHS boss suggested that family doctors are both greedy and workshy
- The comments he made on the Pulse website prompted many angry replies
Dr Arvind Madan suggested family doctors are greedy and workshy using a fake profile
England’s most senior GP has resigned after he was caught trolling medics online using a fake profile.
Dr Arvind Madan, the director of primary care at NHS England, suggested family doctors are greedy and workshy in anonymous posts on a GP forum.
His posts on the Pulse magazine’s website, under the name Devil’s Advocate, prompted dozens of angry replies.
Dr Madan stepped down today and ‘apologised unreservedly’ to anyone he offended using the profile believed to be called ‘Devil’s Advocate’, which he also used to praise his own work.
Announcing his resignation, the east London GP said it had sadly become clear he had ‘lost the confidence’ of some of his colleagues.
In one of the comments Dr Madan said: ‘We can get 6 figure salaries for working 4 days a week, 45 weeks a year.
‘Run that past the general public and see how much sympathy you get.’
In another comment, under an article about hundreds of GP surgeries closing over the past five years, Dr Madan said most businesses would be ‘pleased to see a rationalisation of their markets’.
It added: ‘Let’s face it, there are probably too many small practices out there struggling to do everything you would want for your family in an era of modern general practice.’
Another read: ‘Enough….we can get 6 figure salaries for working 4 days a week 45 weeks a year without on call….run that past the general public and see how much sympathy you get.’
In his resignation statement Dr Madan said: ‘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.
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‘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.
Dr Madan’s comments under a fake profile on the Pulse website prompted angry replies. Pictured: the headquarters of NHS England in Leeds
‘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.’
Dr Sammy Batt-Rawden asked how it could be acceptable for such a high-profile figure ‘to create burner accounts and pseudonyms to troll people that disagree with them?’.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said it was ‘only right’ that Dr Madan stepped down.
BMA GP committee deputy chair Dr Mark Sanford-Wood said: ‘We have today written to NHS England raising our concerns and demanding action after Dr Madan’s damaging comments caused significant anger amongst the profession at a time when GPs require support from NHS England.
‘It is only right that he has therefore done the right thing and offered his resignation.’
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