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Views And Reviews Primary Colour

Helen Salisbury: Timing is everything

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 21 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2907

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Re: Helen Salisbury: Timing is everything

Dear Editor

It is 7 years since I had patients in my care but I share Helen Salisbury's anger at the sidelining of knowledgeable professionals in favour of outsourcing to companies who have already demonstrated their incompetence in providing health care services.

Under the Covid 19 Emergency Regulations my licence to practice as a GP was restored until October 2020.

Along with, I understand, over 20,000 fellow retirees, I volunteered to provide help. Specifically to provide phone advice to patients. A week later my offer was declined.

Apparently a contract to organise NHS returners was given to Capita

And the contract to organise contact tracing has been given to Serco

At the future Covid 19 postmortem, it will be interesting to learn why recruiting, crash-training, and paying call handlers was to be preferred to accepting free help from those of us with a professional lifetime's experience of talking to worried people.

Competing interests: No competing interests

30 July 2020
Stephen Hall
retired gp