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Help us chart 24 hours in general practice

Pulse is launching a new project to help champion the work that GPs do – and we want your help.

On Tuesday 1 April, exactly one year after the NHS reforms changed the shape of general practice forever, Pulse will be asking GPs and practice staff across the UK to help us build a unique portrait of 24 hours in general practice.

Here’s what it involves. We want as many GPs and practice staff as possible to tell us what they’re doing on the day, as they’re doing it. You can write us one or more short blog entries, describing a particular aspect of your work on the day. You can send us photos, or a video, or tweets. Whatever kind of GP you are, wherever you work and whatever you’re doing on the day, we want to hear from you.

Watch 24 hours in general practice unfold here

(Regular readers may remember Pulse did something similar back in 2010, for Pulse’s 50th anniversary. Then, some 27 entries from 17 GPs and practice staff helped us build a snapshot of life in general practice. But now we want to do it much bigger, and better, and really show the world what British general practice is like in 2014 – warts and all).

If you’d like to get involved, here’s a rough guide to what we’re looking for. Please email Pulse editor Steve Nowottny at with your submissions on the day - or if you’re on Twitter, you can tweet using the hashtag #24hoursinGP.

What we’re looking for

1) The basic idea is for GPs or practice staff to contact us and let us know what they’re doing throughout the day. It doesn’t matter whereabouts you work, what kind of GP you are or what you’ll be working on on the day (or even if you won’t be at work but have time off)… we want to hear from you.

2) The project will take the form of a series of short diary entries, similar to a ‘live blog’ format. It’s therefore best if when you contact us you tell us about a specific part of your day – ie what you’re doing at that moment. So you could give us a short summary of your morning surgery, for instance, or tell us about a commissioning meeting, or let us know how you’re getting on with your QOF returns. It’s fine to give us an overall summary of the day but best if you can focus on one particular element.

3) When writing an entry, try to give us a real flavour of what it’s like to be a GP. What are the challenges in your job? What are the bits you enjoy? Which parts of the NHS work well, and what needs improvement? While obviously you will need to be mindful of patient confidentiality – no identifiable patient information please – the more specifics the better.

4) Most diary entries will be text – they can be any length, but between 200 and 400 words is ideal. If you prefer though, you can send us in a photo or even a short video showing us what you’re up to. You can also tweet with the hashtag #24hoursinGP and we will embed the best tweets in the project. Please send all your submissions to Pulse editor Steve Nowottny at

5) You’re very welcome to send in multiple posts at different points throughout the day, if you can spare the time – this will help readers understand the variety of GPs’ work and the different tasks you work on. Please send the posts as you write them, so we can update the project as the day unfolds. We’re also looking for a couple of early posts to get the project started first thing, so if you want to email a submission across in advance today letting us know what you’ll be doing first thing tomorrow, that would also be helpful.

6) Please get your friends and colleagues involved. The more submissions we get, the more complete a picture we can build. It helps us to plan if you can give us advance notice you’d like to take part (email but otherwise it’s fine to just send things over on the day.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Rachael Mackay

    Great initiative, we will share with our medical clients.

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  • Indeed, great initiative. We'll expect this can be completed as soon as possible. GP practices take a great share in providing medical and health care services. If this can be incorporated into a picture of supply chain flows within health care system will be great.

    In addition, some statistics can be done to figure out those facts such as how many visits a person needs to visit GP practices weekly, monthly, and annually on average due to respective clinical conditions, this can compare to which how many visits a person needs for A&E services weekly, monthly and annually on average. A similar comparison can be made to 'hospital visits' for a specific treatment a person needs weekly, monthly and annual on average.
    Then we will find that among all (medical/health care providers within NHS) GP services serve as a main/key medical and healthcare supplier, they have played a central and critical role in the medical supply chain, for a patient in his/her life time overall. They provide the front line medical services to the public, in terms of the amount, types and frequency of medical services.

    Having long training period for qualifications, huge fees to pay for the University study, long working hours and over workloads, and the crucial to play in the society, they deserve much higher salaries.
    Increasing workloads and cutting off funding, reducing salaries will severely affect the adequacy of GP services resources and recruitment and retaining of quality and on-going trained work forces.

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  • 1.4.14- I spent all day basking in our patients' gratitude, apart from 4 hours in the morning playing golf and 3 hours in the afternoon basking in the supportive and appreciative reflection of NHS GP care from my MP, the Health Minister in person and the pages of the daily tabloids and popped home for a spot of tiffin with my husband at 3 and was having my first G&T at 17.30. Ah bliss... and not a sign of a snotty nose amongst the children, even aunt Agatha's piles had healed....what bliss...almost as good as Aaaaaahhhhh.... Bisto.....Ahahahahahaha, cough, splutter...puke!

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