Letters

HSJ is rightly supportive of managers working in the highpressure environment of the NHS. But contrast your comment on Chris Spry's resignation with that on the proposed ballot on GP resignation ('Let's hear it for frontline heroes', 26 April).

HSJ believes that managers who leave the NHS are 'right... to put themselves and their families first and get a life'. In contrast, GPs considering the same action are 'whingeing' and 'belly-aching'. You assert that managers who leave 'still have a real vocation, still believe in the service and love their work but ... simply realise that they haven't got the energy or inclination to do the job any more'. None of this might also be true of GPs, apparently, who are just 'upset that people are not bowing to the almighty power of the medical profession in quite the same way any more'.

HSJ does not believe there is much public support for GPs' concerns. That may well be true, but I wonder how much support there is for managers leaving the NHS for whom 'even a six-figure salary doesn't necessarily compensate for the lost sleep'.

Reading your editorial, some members of the public might wonder if whingeing is a vice not solely afflicting GPs.

Over the last few years, many GPs have worked closely with managers in their practices and in the wider NHS, and come to respect their skills and contribution. Some of us even subscribe to HSJ.Everyone should be aware of the high personal cost of the current NHS reforms to managers and clinicians, and HSJ is right to highlight the issue. But while one editorial on GPs seeks to scapegoat and ridicule in order to score cheap journalistic points, the other on NHS managers demonstrates much of the self-pity that you castigate in GPs. Such divisive coverage can only make working together more difficult and exacerbate the problems of the NHS.

Phil McCarthy, GP Bristol