A TOP NHS doctor who suggested it is OK for small “struggling” surgeries to close has resigned after being exposed as an online troll.

Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England’s director of primary care, faced major backlash after his interview with Pulse Today magazine, after which GPs called for him to quit.

It then emerged he began trolling the website under the pseudonym 'Devil’s Advocate’.

One of his initial comments were that: "Most businesses are pleased to see a rationalisation of providers, as it makes the remainder more viable”. 

Practice manager at Great Bentley Surgery Richard Miller had condemned the comments and said it was “unacceptable” for someone at his level to make such sweeping remarks.

He said: “I disagree with the fact he feels it’s a one-size-fits-all situation in primary care.

“I’m not opposed to practices coming together as it will save money, but where that might work in big cities like London where practices are dotted around only a mile or two apart, it won’t work in rural places.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Richard Miller, practice manager at Great Bentley surgery

“In addition there’s plenty of evidence out there that practices coming together under a more corporate model reduces a patient’s quality of care and continuity of care, so people seeing the same GP, which causes more emergency admissions to hospital.”

Dr Madan's comments echoed the NHS’s move towards so-called super surgeries with 450 reportedly having closed in the past five years across the country.

The magazine also reported Dr Madan stood by comments where he suggested GP practices should shoulder some of the blame for not recruiting doctors.

A chronic shortage of doctors has led NHS England to launch its international GP recruitment scheme but still there is a major shortfall.

The health body has promised at least 10,000 more staff working in general practice by 2020/21, including 5,000 more doctors.


Mr Miller said: “How demotivating for those struggling to keep their practices going for the benefit of their patients.

“We’re halfway there but have gone backwards as there are 1,000 fewer GPs now than when they made that promise.

“People aren’t wanting to come into general practice because they see the problems we’re experiencing.

“Many people are leaving the profession and retiring early, or moving abroad because the conditions are better.

“These comments will do nothing to change their motivation.”

  • WHAT do you think? Are you with a super surgery and, if so, is it better or worse than a smaller practice? Write to us at gazette.letters@newsquest.co.uk. Letters should be no more than 300 words.