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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’.