By John Kapp, campaigner for patients’ rights aged 79, of 22, Saxon Rd Hove BN3 4LE, 01273
whose previous papers are published on section 9 of
At the Brighton and Hove Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) informal pre-meeting in Hove town
hall yesterday (9.12.14) John Kapp answered the above question: ‘yes’, and proposed that GPs
could be re-motivated to their calling of healing patients by empowering them to prescribe
mindfulness meditation instead of medication. His reasons are given in a paper entitled: ‘Cure
the crisis in primary care by ending the Prozac city’ reproduced below, which he tabled at the
meeting, to which he spoke briefly. He said that the closure of Eaton Place surgery is the tip of an
iceberg, as 100 practices in London are said to be closing. He thought that the fears of patients of
not being able to find a GP were well founded unless the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
takes action to detoxify the NHS, which is in their power.
The HWB meeting on 9.12.14
This meeting was attended in the public gallery by about 30 disaffected patients from the GP
surgery at Eaton Place, Brighton, to which about 5,000 patients are registered. The practice gave
6 months notice last August of closure next February. The patients asked for reassurance that
they will be able to register with another GP practice by next March.
They were told by representative of NHS England to apply to 15 of the 45 other practices in the
city. However, when patients tried to do so they found that many of those practices are full, and
others will not visit. General practice has hitherto been taken for granted as a right, but Dr
Christa Beesley of the CCG explained it is provided by private contractors, not NHS staff. The
unexpressed nightmare is the uncertainty whether other practices might close, leaving more
patients without a GP. (This happened in dentistry some years ago) John said that 100 practices
are said to be considering closing in London, which could lead to cascade failure, putting even
more pressure on A&E.
This problem has been long foretold, as reported by John in previous papers. A poll of 2,000 GPs
published in Pulse in June 2013 showed that 97% said that they: ‘ did not think they were
positively influencing people’s lives or accomplishing much in their role’, and 43%
were: ‘ at very high risk of burnout,' A headline in the Guardian in April 2014 said that 6 out
of 10 were thinking of retiring early. The outcome is GPs are leaving the NHS in droves for
the sake of their health.
The reason is the NHS is toxic
The reason for leaving that GPs give is that the NHS system is toxic. This has often been said in
the past, and was confirmed again today (10.12.14) on Channel 4 News reporting a study that
said that 50% of men in England are on prescription medication. Dr Clare Gerada, (former
chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners) was interviewed and said that this
indicates over-medicalisation, and that doctors are over-prescribing.
John believes that GPs are leaving because they feel reduced to pill pushers for the drug
companies. Virtually the only treatment that they can give patients is drugs, which are poisons,
but they have no alternative, as waiting times for talking therapies are too long. GPs know that
most drugs do not even claim to cure the condition for which the patient came (such as
depression) but the toxicity causes patients to keep coming back with side effects. This clogs the
system, and demotivates GPs, makes them go sick, and eventually burn out, forcing early
To cure the crisis, the toxicity has to be removed by prescribing less drugs. But patients cannot be
refused treatment, so have to be given a drug-free prescription instead. The CCG should cure the
crisis by empowering GPs to prescribe talking therapies as easily as Prozac. John has proposed
how this could be done in paper 9.81 on www.reginaldkapp.org ‘Proposal for a licencing system’
John tabled the following paper at the meeting of the HWB on 9.12.14, and spoke briefly to it.