DDAJ farewell. RIP.
So, it's farewell to the only truly independent voice of dispensing
doctors. The DDAJ is dead and may it rest in peace.
In its life the Journal passed through many changes. The first twelve
years, during the life-time of the original DDA were a period of great
Those as long in the tooth as myself will recall its first edition, as
an A5 parish magazine reporting the turbulent events following the
Inaugural Conference in 1984. That and a few later subsequent editions -
all by then A4 - were edited by that very good friend to dispensing
doctors, Dr "Shom" Sil. It paid its way largely thanks to ICI.
After two or three editions Shom passed the editorial baton to me and I
was enormously helped by an Advertising Agent, Iain McGhie. For the
following 10-11 years Iain worked like a trojan on behalf of dispensing
doctors and the DDA Journal. Throughout difficult times for advertising
Iain always made the Journal pay and got it out on time and,
furthermore, it became a full-colour glossy magazine.
Those were great days.
Iain's reward for all his hard work was to be threatened with a legal
action by what are now the DDA Ltd. There was no case to answer, of
course, and no more was heard of it but it saddened me that the DDA had
fallen into such hands. I seem to recall that at that time threats of
writs flew from that direction like confetti at a wedding.
During those 12 years dispensing was prominently in the news and the
Journal was a vigorously campaigning magazine. I was told it was
required reading at all FPC, HAs and even in Parliamentary circles.
Certainly they all received it and Kenneth Clarke, as Health Minister,
quoted extensively from it in the House during the earlier GP contract
debate. He was not complimentary!
Then, some years later, the dissident DDA committee members who broke
away to form the present DDA Ltd, threw a legal ban on the Journal so
that it could not discuss the internal crisis within the organisation.
Members remained in some compulsory ignorance.
From that day until it ceased publication it never campaigned for
dispensing practice again. It became an undistinguished, but highly
expensively produced bland magazine. That, of course, was inevitable as
the Association it represented had lost its fire and its way.
The final few editions were passed over to the commercial Haymarket
Press. God knows why the DDA Ltd committed this folly. Maybe it was
incompetence. It was certainly thoughtless.
Predictably, Haymarket, not having the obsession and enthusiam in
dispensing practice as Shom, Iain and myself, have announced its
closure. Presumably, even with a membership subscription of over a £100,
the DDA Ltd can no longer afford to produce it. Some member may like to
ask them why!
DDA Ltd members have been assured, on the DDA Ltd company web-site, that
there will be a weekly page devoted to dispensing in "GP"
My prediction is that that will be so for several weeks, then it will
drop to half a page and finally become a list of fees and statistics in
Medeconomics before dispensing disappears from the mainstream
Never again will any dispensing doctor be able to send a piece to the
DDAJ on any subject, confident that it will be published. Another light
of democracy has been extinguished.
What folly of the DDA Ltd. What stupidity!
What do you get for your £100 or so, these days?
DDAJ - rest in peace.