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Central Suffolk Dr Dan Poulter leaves government to continue medical career

PUBLISHED: 09:51 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:51 13 May 2015

Dr Dan Poulter is to concentrate on constituency and medical work.

Dr Dan Poulter is to concentrate on constituency and medical work.

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Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has left the government to concentrate on his constituency and medical career – with neighbouring MP Ben Gummer taking on his former job.

Dr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, was junior health minister until the general election. It was a post he had held since September 2012.

He said he had been offered the chance to continue in the role by Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday night – but after sleeping on it had decided to stand down and return to work in medicine part time.

Dr Poulter had continued to work part-time as a hospital doctor after being elected in 2010, but since joining the government he had only been able to work in medicine about once a month – fitting it around ministerial and constituency duties.

He said: “I had a conversation with the Prime Minister and after sleeping on it, I decided I really wanted to continue with my medical work.

“It was a difficult decision – and it might have been different if I had been offered a promotion within the department. But I do enjoy medical work and I felt it was not the right time for me to give that up.”

Dr Poulter said that if he stopped practicing altogether it would be very difficult to start again in a few years’ time because of the speed of medical advances.

He now plans to take further specialist training in psychiatry over the summer and will be working part-time in a London hospital while he undertakes that training.

However he emphasised that he would also be able to devote more time to his constituency duties – his main home is in the Framlingham area and he would be able to combine his training in London with his constituency work in the House of Commons.

He said: “This will give me more time to work on my constituency duties than I had as a minister and give me the chance to continue my medical career.

“Eventually I would like to be able to do psychiatric work at hospitals in the east as well as my constituency work.

“It is also important for me that I am able to spend more time with my family.”

Dr Poulter did not rule out returning to government later in his career: “Who knows what will happen further on in my career, but for the next five years I want to continue my medical work alongside my constituency work,” he said.

Mr Gummer is now looking forward to taking on his new role: “It is a very exciting time for the NHS and I feel incredibly privileged to be part of the journey it is now on,” said Mr Gummer.

“I have been so lucky in Ipswich to be surrounded first class clinicians and NHS management and it is something very close to my heart, as everyone in Ipswich knows.

“It is great to be able to take some of what I have learnt and seen and also what people have said to me on the doorstep and do something about it in Whitehall.”

11 comments

  • It is idle to demand that Poulter be a full-time MP. His party has an absolute majority, he will turn up for all the three-line whipped votes, he will take up his constituents' individual cases. What else should he do? Do people want him to sit there all day on the back benches chanting "rhubarb rhubarb" from time to time? Far better that he keeps his medical skills up to date. The country needs doctors (and especially psychiatrists) more than it needs MPs, but it is good to know there is a qualified doctor available to take part when medical matters are discussed. Maybe he will have the good sense in 2020 to step down and let some other (probably less talented) Tory take his sade seat. I have never voted Tory and would never do so, but I respect an MP who has done something other than politics in his career.

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    Boris

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

  • I have nothing against Dan Porter but when you are in a profession such as his (which the NHS are crying out for) you cannot be both and give 100% to both.

    Report this comment

    shelagh

    Friday, May 15, 2015

  • I'd be pretty sick of them too!

    Report this comment

    John Shirley

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • Well he said in his election leaflet he was not a career politician so we should not be surprised by this turn of events. He must had had this plan on hold waiting to see if he got promotion should the Conservatives form the next Government. He seems to be an opportunist. He flits between various forms of training and employment, (Lawyer, Junior Hospital Doctor, Local Government Councillor, MP, and now an ex-Minister). A jack of all trades but still a master of none. And for his next attempt to settle and make a contribution he chooses to try to do two jobs at the same time whilst drawing his Parliamentary salary. Perhaps he will find his niche in Psychiatry and not stand for Parliament next time.

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    Bredfield Resident

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • "it might have been different if I had been offered a promotion within the department". Says it all really.

    Report this comment

    Poultergeist

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • First, a law degree, then a medical degree, then MP with ministerial status...., now psychiatry...... !!

    Report this comment

    resident

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • All very well but it would have been nice to have been kept up to speed with his plans prior to the election rather than after it. No axe to grind with Dr Poulter but he does seem to do things for a year or two and then move on. Wonder if he'll stand next time?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • I think the expression 'Gravy Train' sums this up precisely !..

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

  • I too voted for the Conservative Party assuming that Dr Poulter would be my full-time MP. I think it is totally dishonest of him to accept what is a full-time position but then fulfil that role only part-time whilst also taking on another job. I would like to know how many other MP's are also part-timers. Surely in any other walk of life this would not be acceptable. A full time job is a full time job! I would add that I have written to Dr Poulter in the past but found that he was less than helpful. Needless to say I shan't be voting for him again.

    Report this comment

    GrandmaR

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

  • Seems to me that Dr Dan has thrown his stethoscope out of his pram. If he had been promoted he would have staid on.

    Report this comment

    graham garrod

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

  • I among the several other thousand voters who gave Dan Poulter his 20,000 plus majority voted him in to be our MP full time ! Not to go ahead 5 days after the election to tell us it will be now only be part time, if this is the case that he still wants in the future to continue to practice medicine that he should now go and do it and resign as an MP ,but I done think he will ,he will be able to study at the tax pays expense keep his mother in her £45.000 a year job and no dout claim MP expenses while in London , Dan do the right thing resign now so we can have a full time MP not a part time GP.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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