BASW to lodge complaint over GP’s criticisms

The British Association of Social Workers is to lodge a
complaint with the General Medical Council over a GP’s
criticisms of the profession, writes Helen

Dr Phil Peverley compared one social worker to a
“malignant worm” and raised questions on their purpose,
asking: “Social workers. They draw a salary every month. But
what do they do?” in his column for the doctor’s
magazine, Pulse.

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Ian Johnston, director of BASW, said the comments, carried in
the June 4th edition of the magazine may constitute professional

“It is completely unacceptable conduct. He is bringing his
profession into disrepute.” he said, adding: “Some
people might say it’s a bit of a joke- it’s not –
we can take a bit of light humour, but this is heavy

The move follows a call by the English Community Care
Association, the body for independent care homes, for Dr
Peverley’s suspension from practice following comments in his
June 18th column, in which he bemoaned the building of a care home
for older people opposite his practice, referring to residents as
“crumbly, senile old gits”.
The piece prompted the charity Action on Elder Abuse to refer the
magazine to the Press Complaints Commission

Phil Johnson, editor of Pulse, launched a robust defence of the
doctor. He said: “Rather than issuing threats and criticising
a witty column written by one general practitioner for the
entertainment of others, perhaps those who represent social workers
would be better looking rather more closely at whether there is an
underlying truth to the humour which the butts of the jokes might
wish to address.

“Dr Peverley would not be first person to criticise social
workers for their failure to accept professional responsibility or
their propensity to pass the buck.”

Dr Peverley was not available for comment.

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