I sent the following letter to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the 20th January 2021 . A date that was significant for me as it marked the 1 year anniversary of my retirement from the NHS.

My letter was not acknowledged.

My original letter of resignation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists:

Some of the feedback that I received in the course of my 25 year NHS career as a doctor working in psychiatry:


From a carer:


From a carer:

005kindness copy

From a member of staff:


From a GP:013kindness1

From the Consultant Trainer of Junior doctors in NHS psychiatry:


From a patient:


From a GP:015kindness

From a nurse:


From a member of staff:


From a nurse:


From an ethicist:


From a national NHS lead:


The reference that was given to NHS Forth Valley before my Consultant interview in 2002:


Further messages that I received at the time I retired from the NHS after working for over 25 years. The messages are from NHS colleagues, patients, carers and from some of those who follow Hole Ousia:

I know that your decision to retire from medicine, will not have been taken lightly – it is a great loss to the NHS and to psychiatry. The accolades you have from patients speaks volumes about the quality of care and the compassion you have given, always in their best interests – you can retire, knowing you have done a sterling job. You are a very special doctor, whose integrity shines through, a very special person in every way and a very talented person in so many other ways too.

“Over 25 years of consultant practice I had many trainees and I’m shocked by how few I could name now. I have the strongest and fondest memories of you as a young doctor though. Your goodness, kindness, personal warmth and generosity of spirit were evident at first encounter.”

Dr Philip Trotter, Retired NHS Psychiatrist

“I would like to wish you all the best for your retirement, and to recognise the depth of your commitment to your patients and the NHS over the years, and also to your honesty and integrity in a world where both these qualities can be short in supply. I wish you well”

Professor Sir Simon Wessely former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and current President of the Royal Society of Medicine

So disappointed to see you go. Honesty and integrity are very uncommon these days. You possess both in abundance.

You are truly the most compassionate and able doctor that I have met. Psychiatry is losing a Legend who was always willing to fight for the best care for those who were suffering.

“Peter Gordon to me and many others you are an absolute fearless ‘Hero’: anyone that swims against the tide is ‘punished’. Your patients will be the poorer for not having you as their doctor.”

“I am so sorry to learn that you are retiring. The NHS needs people like you.”

“You are the only honest and open minded Psychiatrist I have ever met.”

“You have a vastly underrated ability to show genuine emotion in your views on the topics you have covered.”

“I’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t many good or honourable people in the UK these days, and especially not in positions of influence, authority and power, but occasionally someone comes along who truly impresses me with their courage, honesty and determination to make the world a better place. Thank you for all you’ve done and all you’ve tried to do, and all the best for your retirement.”

“So sad to hear you will be leaving – all the staff will be devastated as you are held in such high regard due to your warmth and genuine caring for the patients.”

“I want to say that your leadership and activism has been inspiring and important to me. I have read dozens of your blogs and they have helped inform me about the territory I am now knee deep in.”

“I think you have done a fantastic job in all that you have tried to do, you have made an impact, I am sure of that but there are powerful forces opposing us all.”

“You retire on the 20th. I have always thought of you and known you as an artist. You are also a very skilled and dedicated doctor. I know this because we know our own. There is so much I want to say to you, but I think that should wait until we meet. You are my dearest friend and my world has been greatly enriched by my association with you.”

“Your activist attempts to make medicine more aligned with patients’ interests have not gone unnoticed.”

You will no longer be a doctor but you can take pride in the fact that you have been a very good doctor, who can say that you lived up to the basic aim of your profession; “First do no harm.”

“I will miss your good company and chats.”

“Thank you for listening and sharing, treating me like an equal.”

“I’ve been thinking much about how you must feel. You’ve been abused by your colleagues simply because you believe in honest and open dialogue about real scientific data.”

“You’re a man of courage and many talents.”

“Go quietly then into this dark night – into a brighter dawn. It’s always hard to be a questioning voice! But such people are needed and change often results without any recognition of the force behind it! I admire you greatly.”

“I think is very admirable that you have questioned what we do in psychiatry and have found it disturbing the way that dissenting voices are shut down or dismissed.”

“How sad that speaking out against competing interests as you did ‎is seen as ‘difficult’. It feels like Psychiatry returning to its most shameful past – being used to suppress dissenting voices.”

“I have few words to say – just that I know for certain that I shall never work with a doctor as compassionate and understanding as you – one who is truly respected by those who matter most – our patients.”

“Your work, and against extraordinary odds, to fight the case for evidence based, ethical psychiatry, and General Medical Council values, has been incredible.”

“Having known Dr Peter Gordon for several years I would like to say he is one of the finest, most caring and compassionate people in the NHS that I have ever met. If a voice such as his is not listened to then god help us!”

“My pen is weak, my ink is pale, and my hand shakes like a puppy dog’s tail! (no doubt because of 91 years !) If only I was able to express my innermost and heartfelt feelings re. Peter Gordon. Truly one of the world’s most brilliant, resourceful, respected young man in his profession! He is able to make profound connections with others . .”

“Always remember that you made a real difference. Many years after you left our team, patients still ask after you.”

“You have been dignified and wise and courageous. You have been treated horribly by the College, for the simple fact of standing up and telling what has happened to you and what is the right thing to do.”

“Your voice is one of reasoned debate and ethics and really it’s a travesty that the Royal College of Psychiatrists don’t embody that themselves and see what a treasure they have lost in you.”

“I like the fact you are a gentle soul, you wouldn’t be Peter otherwise, it’s what has made you a good psychiatrist.”

2 Replies to “unanswered”

  1. I don’t know if you have any connection with HOLE OUSIA but that was the name I found when I googled Leadloch Farm. What I found was a very interesting post about the farm which I knew and where I spent some in the 1950s.
    Please let me know if you have any useful information


    David Welsh

    1 Endfield Avenue
    GlasgowG12 0JX

    1. Leadloch is a special place. I would love to hear of your time there in the 1950s. I will e-mail you privately David. Thank you for getting in touch. aye Peter

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.