9.82 Press release - 10.12.14
Can we save toxic general practice by ending the Prozac city? Medication to meditation           10.12.14

By John Kapp, campaigner for patients’ rights aged 79, of 22, Saxon Rd Hove BN3 4LE, 01273 417997, 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 retirement.

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 ‘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.

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