Phil Hammond axed in NHS reforms

Comic loses his GP job

Medical comedian Dr Phil Hammond is losing his GP’s job under cost-saving NHS reforms.

The broadcaster, whose appearances include Have I Got News For You and Question Time, continued to work part-time in a practice in Bristol around his media work.

But now his walk-in service is to be closed, because of cuts at the local primary care trust.

He tweeted: ‘I'm losing my GP job in March as part of the PCT cost rationalisation exercise. Anyone need a GP in Bristol/ Bath/ Somerset (part time)?’

Hammond, 49, has been something of a thorn in the side of the NHS since he broke the story of the Bristol heart scandal in 1992. He writes a column for Private Eye, and his latest campaign is to stop the NHS using gagging clauses to silence whistleblowers.

He will be resuming his Dr Phil’s Rude Health theatre tour after Christmas, and he is also writing a second series of his Radio 4 series Polyoaks, set in a ‘poly-clinic’ and starring Nigel Planer.

Dr Hammond’s walk-in service will be integrated into South Bristol Community Hospital, which opens on March.

The local NHS, which has to cut £28million from its budget this year, insists the move has nothing to do with saving money. Healthcare operator BrisDocs, which runs Dr Hammond’s clinic, said they were told their contract was ending because the service was ‘duplicated elsewhere’.

Published: 15 Dec 2011

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