GP’s column ruffles social care feathers

The British Association of Social Workers is to lodge a complaint
with the General Medical Council over a GP’s criticisms of the
social work profession.

Dr Phil Peverley, in his column for the doctors’ magazine
Pulse on 4 June likened one social worker to a “malignant
worm” and raised questions about their role, asking: “Social
workers. They draw a salary every month. But what do they do?”

Ian Johnston, director of BASW, said the comments may constitute
professional misconduct. “Some people might say it’s a bit of a
joke, but it’s not. We can take a bit of humour, but this is heavy

Peverley apologised for any offence caused by the column and
conceded that parts of it “went too far”.

One of Peverley’s later columns, (18 June), has also come in for
criticism. The English Community Care Association, the body for
independent care homes, called for his suspension from practice
after he bemoaned the building of a care home for older people
opposite his surgery, referring to residents as “crumbly, senile
old gits”.

The piece also prompted the charity Action on Elder Abuse to refer
the magazine to the Press Complaints Commission.

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