Sunday 23 March 2014

Elect John Cosgrove to RCGP Council

How can we free up time for ourselves and our patients?

GPs as a profession must define for ourselves what is and what should not be our responsibility. For too long, society and politicians have directed to us whatever issues they cannot solve and then blamed us for outcomes beyond our control, whether it be A&E attendances, failing hospitals, "benefits cheats", infant mortality or "missed diagnoses". The result is widespread overmedicalisation, which we must reverse.

GPs should be the last resort for self-limiting illnesses, employment, relationship and emotional difficulties or primary prevention, not the first. We must restore this balance to survive in the face of an ageing population desperately in need of our medical skills. Screening and case-finding are no substitute for caring medical generalists.

RCGP should define appropriate practice, not lawyers, to allow GPs to continue to absorb risk and spare patients and the NHS from the harms of over-investigation and over-treatment.

Council must be transparent. New policies should be published for appraisal by all members before approval. This is essential if College is to engage with members and capitalise on their expertise to develop optimal policies, responsive to the needs of hardworking GPs. This will also strengthen Faculties, the life-blood of College, by enabling them to facilitate debate at the local level.

These are the principles which will guide how I will represent you at Council.


** Update **
Voting now open! Visit to cast your vote. You will need your personal 2 part security code. You should have received this by email from Electoral Reform Services or by post from RCGP. If you have not received either, or if you would like to change your vote, request new voting codes by emailing or telephoning 0208 829 8510.


Anonymous said...

Best of luck John!

Delighted that you're standing for council. We desperately need representatives like you- GPs who are prepared to speak freely and frankly to promote and defend our profession from those who underestimate it and run it down.

Unknown said...

Good Luck, John! You are the kind of representative we need. Thank you for standing

Anonymous said...

Im not an RCGP member (MRCGP distinction 2008) and resigned because I felt the RCGP and leadership were completely out of touch with grass-roots GPs. But getting to know John over the past few months has made me reconsider joining, if he is elected. He isnt a politician: Ive seen him debate on many topics and is prepared to have an opinion, not a soundbite like many others do. I would endorse John for RCGP council; he is sensible, pragmatic and in touch with the frontline GPs delivering the service. He isnt afraid to fight for GPs as well as services, something which the RCGP leaders forgot. Vote him in, and hopefully we will see sense return to the RCGP. Dr Alan Woodall GP partner, Powys.

David Cunninghan said...

John has asked me to write something in support and I am very happy to do so, even though we may not agree on everything (I am on the opposite side of the debate regarding Dementia). I would also add that I cannot vote in this election as I am not a GP (former oncologist now NHS manager). But, knowing John for far too many years and while reading the above writings I was struck by how much of this resonated with me and how little of this is debated when both local and national policies are written and then implemented.

The three key elements that I would vote for are listening and acting upon concerns and needs of GPs at the proverbial coal-face, reducing the medicalisation and over investigation/treatment of many patients and using the words "caring medical generalists". In the rush to super/sub-specialisation the need for the generalist is being lost and in my view this is a grave mistake.

It was always said during my medical school days that a good GP was worth a 100 hospital doctors, the hard part was finding a good GP. Well, in my view John is a good GP and more voices such as John's are needed at a senior level so that what makes primary care great is not lost as the NHS seeks to meet ever increasing demands with fewer resources.

Asha Pillai said...

All the best John. I completely agree with your principles. We GPs need to encourage self management of 'self limiting trivial' ailments.
We are heading towards a crisis in the NHS with increasing complex frail elderly people. GPs need to be able to dedicate their resources to those who need it most .. and we need sensible leadership. It would definitely benefit the NHS, patients and GPs to have a pragmatic and forward thinking person like you in the RCGP. So good luck...

savio gaspar said...

Savio Gaspar

Very well said john
best of luck with the elections -you are a very good colleague to work with and have the best interests of both the profession and patients at heart!

Sarah Longland said...

Fabulous news! Will put the profession in safe hands!

Geeky DocRT said...

"The elephant in the Room" - You are the only candidate who spoke of it - we need time to live too. And so, for the first time I have even considered voting in the RCGP elections. I am disillusioned and cynical after watching the profession being continually undervalued and mercilessly flogged by the media. A recent news article raved about a particular (and most venerable I must add, although I can never be the saint that he is) retiring GP in Portsmouth - who had worked 7 days a week, 25 hours a day or something like that, asking why can't more of us be like him.
Here is why: We Doctors are human too. Choosing this vocation does not mean we have to commit Seppuku (ritual suicide) and sacrifice our relationships and sanity trying to convince a thankless and uncaring public (and its leaders) that "we care, oh we really care, please please like us just a teensy bit more pretty please"
Your personal election statement was the only statement I have read in the past 6 years that asked that question I ask everyday but with more political correctness.
Thank you for making that statement.
Please win this election. If what my peers say every single day is anything to go by, voters are going to emerge from the woodwork to support you.
I have voted for you. And NO other choices. I think it is important to specify not just what we want, but what we definitely do not want.
Good luck.
Aarti Narayan-Denning

John Cosgrove said...

Thank you, Aarti. I hope you are right that there is a significant body of GPs in agreement with our views and that we can improve our representation on Council. I will certainly do what I can!