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‘Dismal and irrelevant’ – what young GPs think of HEE’s recruitment video

Recently qualified GPs give their verdict on Health Education England’s new GP recruitment video


‘I can think of a million better selling points’

Zoe Norris 300x300

It’s dismal. It shows a GP signing a form which they probably shouldn’t be doing given its private work and requires specialist knowledge to do so safely. It’s the kind of form many GPs now refuse to sign having no specialist training. So being a GP involves signing non-NHS forms. Wow. That will solve the recruitment crisis. I can think of a million better selling points for our profession, even in the current climate. What does this suggest to bright young graduates?

Be a GP - sign a form you aren’t qualified to and get sued.

Dr Zoe Norris is a GP in Hull and a blogger for the Huffington Post


‘Staggeringly wide of the mark’

Dr Susie Bayley

In the current climate general practice is facing a continual uphill battle and desperate to recruit the best candidates to our profession. HEE have only wasted a perfect opportunity to capture and promote the essence of general practice.

Their flawed video which seems to have absolutely nothing visually to do with general practice is staggering in the way it misses the mark. That they have highlighted a non-GMS, non-medical entity and actually created GPs work by doing it is laughable.

Dr Susie Bayley is a GP in Derby and vice-chair of the GP Survival committee



‘The brainchild of an ad agency guy who once did a charity run’ 

Local Hero Dr Chris Williams

I was quite excited to see messages appear on social media that a new ’recruitment’ video had been released.

A big problem we face as a profession is that people don’t often understand what we do. Only a couple of months ago the RACGP did fantastically well in tackling this. In June I was literally moved to tears, watching ’The Good GP never stops learning’.

But to me, the video looks like it was put together by someone who didn’t know what general practice involved. Perhaps it was the brainchild of an ad agency guy who once did a charity run.

The imagery doesn’t match GP: A crowd of people running; a drip; a haircut; and a pen signing a form. They describe it as a consent form, but it isn’t. What the video is describing is the disclaimer section of an registration/race entry form, where the organisers don’t accept a person’s self-declaration of their own fitness. Which is not NHS work.

There are many reasons why the HEE video is a fairly big failure as far as I’m concerned. I’ll bet that it gets people talking, but not for the right reasons.

Dr Chris Williams is a GP in the Highlands and AMC representative, Highland LMC


‘I will not be showing it to any of my students’

Dr Hamed Khan 300x300

It is positive to see HEE England recognise the recruitment crisis that general practice is facing, but this video fails completely in its aims.

As a medical school lecturer for undergraduate medical students, I know that the aspects of general practice that motivate students are the variety, the practical hands-on dynamism of seeing patients unfiltered in a one to one setting, and the satisfaction of being able to see interventions through to their end outcomes when patients get better.

This video focuses on a form being signed, and thus reinforces the misperception that GPs spend large amounts of time filling forms and dealing with other ‘red-tape’ and bureaucracy. Seeing a GP sign a form has never, and will never, motivate a student to take up general practice.

There was a huge opportunity that could have been exploited to showcase the most dynamic, interesting, hands-on clinical aspects of general practice. Unfortunately this opportunity has been completely wasted, and the outcome is a video which is largely irrelevant, and focuses on the most mundane bureaucratic aspect of our job. As a lecturer I will certainly not be showing it to any of my students.

Dr Hamed Khan is a GP in London and clinical lecturer at St George’s University of London


‘This fits into Jeremy Hunt’s masterplan’

Friends - cast your cynicism aside. This is a recruitment video for GPs who will be qualified in five to 10 years’ time. By that point, Jeremy Hunt’s masterplan will have been realised and we will have an insurance based health system where anyone can see a specialist at the drop of a hat with the most trivial of whims.

This leaves the role of the gatekeeping specialist generalist somewhat vacant but Mr Hunt has thought of this. The management of endless bureaucracy we currently combine with clinical care means we have a transferable skill that will be just perfect to ensure these vital forms are signed by the handful of GPs left in the profession at that point who would otherwise have been put out to pasture.

Dr James Betteridge is a GP in Derbyshire and a member of Derbyshire LMC


‘What an odd choice’

Laura Edwards 300x300

This video is really disappointing. What an odd choice. Particularly at a time where we are trying to help practices and the public understand what core work is - to focus a campaign on something that isn’t part of General Practice is unhelpful to say the least and creates even more stress for GPs trying to explain this. I understand (perhaps) the thought process but this is suggesting that as a GP you don’t actually deal with disease but sign consent forms instead. To focus on bureaucracy as a tempting feature of being a GP is misguided.

I also don’t feel like I had any connection with anyone in the video. GPs chose the career for the connection and continuity. Neither of these come across. “Every day is different - there are more forms than you can imagine” - not quite the winning strap line in my eyes.

Dr Laura Edwards is medical director of Wessex LMCs

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Readers' comments (9)

  • speechless.

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  • I thought it was one of those ads you slip, twiddled with the play button quite a bit before I realised that facile nonsense was it.

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  • Devil's Advocate: what if this clip was meant to stimulate our comment and get us lining up to extol the many virtues & privileges of General Practice? Job done :)

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  • Well it hasn't has it?
    All it has done is give a lot of people the opportunity to slag off the advert, while suggesting that there is nothing positive about GP at the moment.

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  • So sorry people lets not delude ourselves
    General practice has lost all "street cred"
    * no out of hours so no " balls " needed then we sleep while someone else ( probably a nurse ) sees our dying patients
    * A contract that pays use for what any good Dr should be doing. My builder friends would give you a black eye for anything like it if you suggested anything so degrading and insulting
    * Nurses doing our work left right and centre and making a mockery of any glimmer of whole person medicine .Get anything serious mate like diabetes or COPD and whoose it's off to a clinic with you I don't want to know
    * All for money money money whatever happened to our souls
    General practice RIP
    Any decent doctor can sniff the bullshit a mile off

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  • I can't say what general practice was like 50 years ago but modern British GP is pure brain dead horseshit.Day after day of the same mundane crap.My advice to any young doctor would be to stay in hospital medicine and become a real doctor rather than spending 99% of your time reassuring the worried well and in the process becoming more and more deskilled as the years go by

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  • Flipping hell, David Hogg and Anon @2.27pm, that there is strong stuff you guys have written.

    I know things are bad, very bad, at present but with attitudes like that I wonder why you bothered becoming GPs in the first place, and more importantly why you've stayed. And more importantly maybe you should consider your response to those questions, as they might give you the strength to stay the course a bit longer(presuming you both wish too of course)!

    Given that things in GP land are beyond tough at the moment, surely there must be something you both still like about the job even if just a morsel to nibble on until the profession gets its act together. Or has Hunt pushed things so far down into the depths of Hell that all light has been extinguished from your respective tunnels?

    Anyway thanks for sharing, it's the only way we'll get real opinion on life 'as it is' for a frontline GP rather than flimsy GPC or RCGP surveys or concocted TV documentaries.

    Disillusioned GP partner (3.75yrs)

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  • @11:50pm I hear where you're coming from but I think you'd be where they are if you said "Disillusioned GP partner (7yrs)" or longer!

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  • Oh dear me, this ad is so very bad on so many levels, as has already been said:
    1) Not core GP work
    2) Skydiving costs the NHS 17 times more than raised in charitable contributions
    3) If this is the main reason to be a GP then I am off to look after my farm
    4) Please.......really.........
    5) And finally, insulting and demoralizing twaddle wrapped up in glitzy advertising goo.........

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