GP committee concerned at health tech boss’s reported remarks

The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) GP committee says alleged remarks by Frank Hester call into question the leadership of health tech company the Phoenix Partnership (TPP).

Steve Taylor, DAUK GP committee spokesperson, said the committee had significant concerns over the reported comments about Diane Abbott MP, Britain’s longest-serving black MP, which have been widely condemned as racist and misogynist.

Dr Taylor said: “Doctors’ Association UK GP committee has significant concerns over the recent comments reportedly made by Frank Hester, owner of TPP, one of the major suppliers of GP IT systems.

“The GP workforce is a diverse community of people and these alleged comments are deeply upsetting.

“It is the responsibility of all those working in and alongside the NHS, in whatever capacity, to treat all patients equally, irrespective of their race, colour, or gender.

“It’s saddening to think that one of the NHS’s contractors could allegedly express such views.

“We agree with other GP bodies that it calls into question the leadership of TPP.”

Mr Hester is founder and chief executive of TPP, which has received hundreds of millions of pounds in contracts from the NHS.

Contracts include running patient consultation computer systems used by more than 2,500 GP practices.

He has donated more than £10m to the Conservatives, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is under pressure to pay back following Mr Hester’s comments.

He has apologised on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, for making ‘rude’ comments about Ms Abbott but said it ‘had nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin’.

Ms Abbott has described the reported comments as ‘worrying’.