Devon LMC were disappointed by the negative spin regarding the General Practice Alert System (GPAS) published on 3 March.
You acknowledge GPAS was pioneered in Devon and has been working well for two years. You clearly state that it has provided general practice with a data set that we have used to bring about significant changes and increased support from Devon ICB. However, you failed to point out that the Devon system has always been based on anonymity of practices and this is why it has been successful.
Your article sensationalised problems some areas are experiencing with GPAS and identified this was due to lack of anonymity. They are therefore not using the system as designed. Leaving the Devon success to the final paragraph and not recognising the fundamental concept of anonymity within the GPAS operation meant your article was completely misleading and disingenuous.
We would like to suggest to the editorial team that if you had used the last paragraph as your first, your article would have read as, ‘Areas that have not utilised GPAS as it was designed are not reaping the rewards that they could from the system’. This might be less sensationalist but would be factually correct and helpful for areas considering whether to use the system or not.
Thanks very much for making your readers fully aware of the above.
Devon LMC leadership team