Dr Charles Forsyth

Nutritional Physician

 
 

I HAVE DECIDED TO RETIRE

BY THE END OF NOVEMBER 2019


In the summer of 2017 I decided I was ready to start moving consciously towards retirement.  I realised I would be 65 in 2019 and the time had come to shift the emphasis of my life to those areas that have been overshadowed by my passion for my medical work.  At first I was considering full retirement by the end of 2018, with a marked reduction in workload in 2018, but as the months rolled on I decided to try cutting back to just two clinics a week from 2019 onwards, with frequent holidays. 


My difficulty has always been that I am a medical generalist and rather too enthusiastic, curious and conscientious, and want to know and understand too much about too many fields - for my own good!  The result has been that I have allowed medicine to dominate my life too much for the last 44 years.  So I decided the time had come for me to move into the next chapter of my life and give more time to the many other things that I am passionate about while I still can.


As part of my plan, I gave up my GMC License to Practice in November 2018 - see below for more details.


Clinics - until late November 2019

  1. Wednesday Morning - Reigate.

  2. Thursday Afternoon - Biolab.


Holidays in 2019

I will be taking frequent holidays, usually 1-2 weeks off, every 4 - 6 weeks.

I will be arranging medical cover for my practice as usual, as far as possible.


Appointment Availability

I am afraid there are few remaining appointments before I retire - please ring my secretary Janet asap if you would like to be put on the waiting list. 


Appointment Cancellations

Please, please provide us with as much notice as possible if you need to cancel an appointment - ideally 2 weeks notice.

This is because of the reduced office cover and the difficulty of contacting other patients at short notice wanting an earlier appointment.


Clinical Availability

My intention is to confine all my clinical work to just Wednesdays and Thursdays - so I will be trying not to answer patient emails, etc outside these days!


Office Cover

Since summer 2018, my office cover has reduced to just two days a week: Wednesday and Thursday mornings - which is when voice messages and emails will be dealt with.

My apologies for this reduced cover but my secretary Marlys had to leave us (for personal reasons) and Janet who has worked on Wednesday and Thursday mornings for many many years is unable to do much more.


My secretary Janet will be reducing her hours from 2 mornings a week to one morning a week probably sometime in August or September, until I retire at the end of November.  She will answer emails and voice messages as usual on the day(s) she is in the office. 

From December onwards my wife Georgina and I will answer any voice or email messages as and when we can.  If you have not hear back from us or it is particularly urgent, please ring or text my mobile.  Please note that we have discontinued our home landline (01737 248605).


New Patients

Since January 2019 I have stopped accepting any new patients.



Finding a New Doctor

Since mid-2017, I have been looking for one or more suitable trainee doctors to join me, in an effort to try and provide greater availability of on-going care for my patients.  Sadly, I have failed.

Unfortunately there are still so few doctors in the UK practicing or training in ecological / functional medicine or homeopathy.  Both my professional organisations (the British Society of Ecological Medicine (BSEM) and Faculty of Homeopathy) have been trying hard to address this issue for many years - and I am delighted to say that the tide appears to be now gradually turning, but it is going to take some time before this has any real impact on the availability of trained doctors, since more and more of us ‘old hands’ are retiring.


Ecological Medicine - our professional body is The British Society for Ecological Medicine (BSEM)  www.bsem.org.uk   For our practitioner list: www.bsem.org.uk/pages/14-practitioners.


Homeopathy

  1. Faculty of Homeopathy - is the professional body for medical homeopathic doctors in the UK www.facultyofhomeopathy.org   The ‘practitioner finder’ is on the website’s front page.

  2. British Homeopathic Association  www.britishhomeopathic.org   For the practitioners list: www.britishhomeopathic.org/treatment/find-a-homeopath-search/

  3. Society of Homeopaths - the main non-medical homeopaths society  www.homeopathy-soh.org  For the practitioners list: https://homeopathy-soh.org/find-a-homeopath/.



Your Medical Records

Your medical records will be kept for 10 years from the date of your last consultation, while those of patients seen as children will be kept until their 26th birthday - these are legal requirements.  If you wish to have a copy of any of your notes, please let us know well before the end of November, and allow at least 3 weeks for delivery (due to limited staff hours).  Please bear in mind that we will have to make a charge for the time and postage involved - there are very few files that weight less than half a kilo, and many are divided between two or three folders and may weigh 1.5 - 2kg.  Please also remember that you will be in possession of all the detailed emails I have sent you following our consultations and I have given you copies of all the investigation results for all tests ordered by me - these form the bulk of your records with me.  I am not able to supply you with the the original documents, for medico-legal reasons.



Winter Cold & ‘Flu Pills

If you have been on our mailing list for receiving homeopathic Cold & ‘Flu Pills each October, and you requested to remain on the list for this year (2019), you will still receive these - unless you inform us to the contrary.




GMC LICENSE TO PRACTICE

In an effort to further reduce my workload and expenses I decided to give up my General Medical Council (GMC) ‘License to Practice’ at the end of November 2018.

In practical terms what this mainly means to my patients is:


1) I am no longer be able to prescribe ‘Prescription Only Medicines’ (POMs).  In reality my POM prescribing was extremely small both in frequency and breadth (nystatin and occasional systemic antifungals; thyroid medications, melatonin, rarely antibiotics, rarely cortisone).

     • Any patients requiring POMs will need to consult another doctor.


2)  It also means that my practice of medicine will not be monitored or regulated by our General Medical Council (GMC).


To maintain our medical ‘License to Practice’ we have to go through an annual appraisal with a GMC certified appraiser and every 5 years we are ‘revalidated’ by a Registered Officer of the GMC who considers our performance assessed by the previous 5 years appraisals.

I was one of the very early adopters of what was a voluntary medical appraisal system, my first appraisal was in 2004, long before the appraisal system became a legal requirement.  I was also in the very first batch of doctors to be revalidated under the new system, and was revalidated in 2014.


The decision to give up my License to Practice is mainly because:

  1. 1) Reducing my Expenses.  Over the years, as a registered doctor with a License to Practice in private practice our unavoidable annual expenses have steadily increased, making it increasingly difficult to work very part-time.  This includes our GMC membership fee, medical indemnity insurance, membership fees for our professional bodies, our appraisal and revalidation fees, etc.  Relinquishing one’s License to Practice reduces these expenses dramatically.

  2. 2) Time.  Collecting and collating all the information required for the annual appraisal is very time consuming - and detracts from time I would rather be giving to my clinical and other professional work.

  3. 3) Past Performance.  I have always met all the requirements for appraisal and revalidation purposes, especially for continuing medical education (CME) and continuing professional development (CPD), many times over (usually more than 100 hours annually).


I will be continuing all my CME and CPD activities for the foreseeable future.

  1. I was the founder of and continue to run two local professional study / peer supervision groups - the West Surrey and West Sussex Homeopathic Group (founded 2000) and the South East Ecological Medicine Group (founded 2016), both of which meet once a month.

  2. I was a founder member of and regularly attend the London EcoMed Peer Supervision Group (founded 2009) meeting about every 2 months, and the ABCD Homeopathic Supervision Group (founded 2006) meeting 3 times a year for a whole day.

  3. I have recently let go of being the Treasurer of the BSEM, having been so once before in 2014.

  4. I have also recently let go of being a BSEM committee member, having been so since around 2002.

  5. I was a founder member of the BSEM in 1984, then called the British Society for Nutritional Medicine (BSNM), later called the British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine (BSAENM).

  6. In the past I have been a committee member of the Faculty of Homeopathy.

  7. I almost always attend the Faculty of Homeopathy’s biannual three day congress and have made presentations at each of the last three.

  8. I attend almost all the BSEM one day conferences, which are usually twice a year.  I organised the conference “The Halogens in Health & Disease” in November 2011.

  9. I attend other seminars and conferences as they come up.

  10. For the last 10 years and more I have averaged well over 100 hours annually of training, conferences, seminars, study and peer supervision groups and other formal study.  My own informal study is many times this and is on an almost daily basis, comprising reading medical and scientific journals, research publications, looking up topics relating to my patients problems and their management, writing and updating patient information sheets, developing my ecological medicine database system, etc.  I regard on-going education as part and parcel of what I do - I have always been hungry for a broader, deeper, more complete understanding in all my areas of interest and endeavour.

  11. I am mentoring a number of doctors who are training in Ecological Medicine.

MY RETIREMENT PLANS