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The end of GANFYD?

The end of GANFYD?

The Government has apparently signalled a willingness to end GANFYD, but Sofia Lind is dubious whether this will actually happen

Bath and Somerset GPs may have choked on their tea when patients began to ask for medical notes to allow council removal of seagulls’ nests from outside their homes last summer. 

But the wacky idea was nearly matched by this week’s Treasury proposal for GPs to determine whether people should have money slashed off their energy bills. 

And GPs in 11 areas will be asked to dish out free bike loans and cycle training to improve patients’ physical and mental health. 

Ironically, both of these pieces of news emerged in the same week that the Government finally pledged to end the GANFYD phenomenon (‘Get A Note From Your Doctor’) – or at least the state-sponsored variety. 

The alluringly alliterate ‘bureaucracy-busting concordat’ for general practice, published yesterday, set out seven principles to avoid unnecessary bureaucratic requests from GPs. 

‘Departments who follow the concordat pledge to move to alternative pathways for gathering evidence where possible’, in a bid to ‘enable a more effective and timely system for all’, the DHSC fanfared. 

The not-non-bureaucratically-worded principles promise that the Government and its departments will include GPs in discussions whenever new workload is created; and that GPs will not be asked to do things another professional – or the patient themself – could do. 

The initial reaction from the profession was unenthusiastic. Former GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey – who revealed it took over a year to get the Government to publish the concordat – sounded less than hopeful that it would be adhered to. 

Other commenters pointed out that these promises have been made before, to little avail. 

But although the Government admitted that ‘culture change does not happen overnight’, it optimistically hopes that, over time, it will see ‘a positive response from general practice that bureaucratic burden has been reduced’. 

Let’s hope they are right on this one, this time. DGANFYD. 

Sofia Lind is deputy editor of Pulse. Follow her on twitter at @sofialind_Pulse or email her at



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

David Church 25 August, 2022 10:44 am

Aww. Hopes were raised by the headline, only to be dashed when I realised it was an out-of-season April fool joke.

David Banner 25 August, 2022 6:26 pm

Anyone hoping for an end to GANFYD is living on the fantasy island that people from cloud cuckoo land go for their holidays. The looming cost of living crisis will be GANFYDeggon, as panicking patients crash our e-consult system with desperate pleas for that magical little letter that might just unlock a few quid from an uncaring bureaucracy. Brace yourselves, folks, it’s gonna get ugly.

Andrew Slade 1 September, 2022 9:13 am

‘No’ is a complete sentence with regard to GANFYD requests, either that or hyperinflated fees for this non NHS work