Letters, calls and emails: Some career choices are not straightforward

Dear Editor

Dr Charles Brown’s letter about the suffocation of general practice by box-ticking computer geeks (GP, (17 November) and his reminiscence of Chancellor Gordon Brown’s family, made me wonder about the whereabouts of key faces in the evolution of UK state health.  

By chance, in my files, I found an article cut from GP some years ago, entitled ‘Are Read codes good for GPs?’ by Dr Andrew Herd (15 April 1994), and featuring notorious computer enthusiast-cum-GP Dr James Read.  

Essentially its about how awful Dr Read’s codes are. I agreed with this because the coding system displayed a strange ignorance of clinical medicine, and Dr Read, from the portrait, was quite young when he sold the codes to the Tory DoH for £1 million, extricating himself from state-funded general practice, with the connivance of the DoH (Was Ken ‘GP’s are always feeling for their wallets’ Clarke there then? Where is he now?)  

Dr Read became head of NHS centre for coding and classification in Loughborough, part of an NHS information management group that developed Read codes across all healthcare professional groups. But where is he now? Obviously not a GP.  

Fashionable as it is today to ask how Shipman got into (and stayed in) medicine, I would ask these two questions: how did Dr Read get into general practice and how did Ken Clarke get into the DoH, (health promotion, lager, cigars, and all that)?  

Dr Paul J Searle  

Eaton Socon, Cambridgeshire 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...