Letters College of Medicine

College of Medicine replies to its critics

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4364 (Published 12 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4364
  1. George T Lewith, vice chairman1,
  2. Graeme Catto, president1,
  3. Michael Dixon, chairman1,
  4. Christine Glover, council member1,
  5. Aidan Halligan, chair, homelessness faculty1,
  6. Ian Kennedy, vice president1,
  7. Christopher Manning, general practitioner and mental health lead1,
  8. David Peters, council member1
  1. 1College of Medicine, London SW8 1UD, UK
  1. gl3{at}soton.ac.uk

Cassidy’s article and the rapid responses contain errors and misunderstandings.1 2 3 4

The college aims to promote a more politically and professionally transparent, patient centred, and sustainable approach to healthcare, using whatever social or therapeutic approaches are safe, effective, and empowering for patients. The college is calling for a more compassionate NHS, where practice based on good evidence has its foundations in health promotion, resilience, and vocation. The widespread “scandals of caring” show how urgently we need to rediscover the ethic of service. A combination of management changes and evidence based medicine has failed to provide the solution.

We believe that all registered clinicians wish to provide value and excellence to their patients. Membership is open to all UK registered clinicians and medical scientists because we accept a wide range of properly trained and regulated professionals, not because we uncritically endorse any particular therapy. We wish to attract clinicians and scientists who will work as a team to promote high quality care and not professional self interest. Our innovations network includes examples of excellence in primary care, children’s health, and community development in deprived areas and NHS complementary therapy services. We do not promote any specific intervention.

The college believes that the patient’s voice must become a powerful component of policy making, so, unlike other medical colleges, our patient members have real executive power within our council. We believe that the dispossessed have a right to good healthcare—our faculty for homeless care is creating a dialogue that will hopefully lead to improvements in serving these needs at a time of financial crisis.

A thoughtful discussion of the crisis within medicine is needed, so that together we can achieve the patient centred, values based, team approaches that our patients, clinicians, and healthcare system desperately need.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4364


  • Competing interests: None declared.