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At the heart of general practice since 1960

LMC leaders launch publicity fightback to defend general practice

LMC leaders have launched a major campaign to promote general practice to patients in London, in order to counteract weeks of negative statements from politicians and media coverage about the profession.

Londonwide LMCs told Pulse they would be issuing a range of campaign materials in the coming months under the banner of ‘General Practice Cares’ in order to prevent negative publicity ‘tainting’ patients’ perception of GPs.

The materials will include two posters which carry messages such as ‘GPs want to spend more time with you, not red tape’ and ‘1 million people will see a GP today’.

The campaign comes as the GPC and the RCGP met for a crisis summit in the wake of accusations from the health secretary that inaccessible GPs were responsible for the current pressures on A&E departments. The college and GPC said they would discuss how they can better champion the profession, and communicate the workload pressures GPs are under.

Dr Michelle Drage, chief executive of Londonwide LMCs, says: ‘GPs are sick of being blamed for all of the issues in the NHS. This is a complex and interdependent system in which blame seems to be the name of the political game.

‘GPs’ workloads have doubled in recent years and much of this is made up of unnecessary paperwork. Despite this we continue to ensure that our patients get the care they need and we should be proud of what is achieved by London’s practices.

Londonwide LMCs will also be attempting to generate local media coverage and encouraging the medical press to expose the realities of daily life as a GP. LMCs will also survey its constituents on their extra workload and other issues and will use the results to generate further media coverage.

Dr Drage added: ‘It is time to start shouting it from the roof tops…general practice cares about patients, we are working harder than ever to meet the needs of a multifaceted growing population and despite the lack of resources we will continue to ensure our patients get the best care possible.

‘This campaign will be the start of our continuing efforts to address the serious crisis in the confidence of GPs in London, and restore pride in the great care that general practice delivers the capitals patients’.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Your definition of "the great care that general practice delivers the capitals patients" is very different from what the patients expect.They want you to be on call 24/7 365 days a week and take a pay cut.They think you're overpaid,lazy and incompetent.How do you reconcile that?

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  • Mark Struthers

    "They think you're overpaid,lazy and incompetent" ...

    The problem is that a sizeable minority of GPs are just that.

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  • What a shame that Mr Struthers is soooo arrogant that he feels entitled to make such sweeping and offensive statements as this. Does he work for The Daily Mail by any chance....??

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  • Mark Struthers is a prison doctor, he has no idea about coal face NHS General Practice.

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  • One GP cannot look after all the NHS. So, how many ?
    Patients think we are lazy because they do not get appointments for weeks. We must be playing golf.
    They are not to know that we are working 10-13 hour days. Last tuesday, my eyes were smoking after 13 hours and blood results began to coalesce.
    Please GPC, LMC, GMC, RCGP, please define safety for doctors.

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  • Strongly worded posters eh? That'll show 'em!

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  • As an ex anaesthetist turned GP I can honestly say that in my previous life. I was less taxed, skilled and maybe even more 'lazy' than I could ever be as a GP.

    Unfortunately the Great British Public and our glorious goverernment fail to grasp the reality that we are multiple-talented hard working and caring doctors.

    The public are generally too ignorant to be able to appreciate GP. They will learn when they end up having to directly pay to be seen. Its a sad fact. When we are finally functioning as dentists, vets and other professionals on a pay per consultation basis, people will finally appreciate the services provided by a gp. The fee wil focus their minds. Sadly it is the poorest and neediest who risk losing out over all of this.

    I for one have had enough of constant character assassination and abuse from smearing politicians and idle ignorant members of the public. Time for revolution.

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  • Vinci Ho

    I can see what they are trying to do and I suppose one should not be too judgemental on this . Yes , the public might be ignorant but that is exactly the motive of re-educating . Whether you like it or not , 21st century general practice cannot be segregated from public opinion . Thanks to Internet and yellow journalism which is selling negativity for more readers . GPC/LMC and perhaps RCGP cannot hide in the ivory tower and think somehow we can pull through by more negotiations . Political energy is about how many people in the public 'believe' what you are 'preaching ' . Whoever has got more political energy is the only candidate who can possibly win this War on Bashing and Bullying .......

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  • Many thanks for all comments on our General Practice Cares campaign. Any London-based GPs, nurses or practice managers that want to help us demonstrate the reality of life in the surgery, get in touch - sbroome@lmc.org.uk. Local media important here as well as Pulse (thanks P).

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