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.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) but otherwise it’s fine to just send things over on the day.