Guidance

Introduction

Keep Patients Safe. Protect the NHS. Rebuild General Practice.

This campaign is funded by the GPDF on behalf of the general practice community.

General practice should be at the heart of every community – keeping patients safe and providing strong foundations for the rest of the NHS. But decades of neglect have broken the entire system.  We don’t have enough family doctors to treat our patients. GPs are leaving the profession in droves and practices are closing all over the UK. Patients should be able to see us when they need to.

Our colleagues across the NHS should be able to work closely with us to provide the right care at the right time. A strong general practice keeps people healthy and gives them the care they need in their community. And it takes the pressure off hospitals and specialist services, saving money in the longer term.

Reform takes time, but these problems are immediate and real.

That’s why we need to come together and Rebuild General Practice. It is the only way we can keep our patients safe and protect the NHS.

We are a group of GPs calling for a proper, long-term plan to Rebuild General Practice.

The Rebuild General Practice Campaign is asking the Government, patients and our colleagues across the NHS to join us in building a long-term patient centred vision for general practice.

They are calling for:

  • A plan to retain the GP workforce;
  • Fair funding as part of the wider NHS;
  • Greater freedom and autonomy to do our jobs

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Phase One (March 2022)

 

March 2022, saw the launch of the BMA & GPDF funded campaign, Rebuild General Practice; with a clear call to action for UK and devolved Governments: Rebuild General Practice or put patient safety at increasing risk. Nearly 9 in 10 GPs fear patients aren’t always safe at their surgeries.

  • 7 out of 10 GPs feel the risk to ‘patient safety’ is increasing.
  • GPs cited staff shortages and too little time for appointments as the main factors putting patients at risk –
    • 86% of GPs stated they didn’t have enough time with patients
    • 77% of GPs said GP shortages were putting patient safety at risk

The Rebuild General Practice campaign comes at a time of ‘crisis’ when appointment numbers are peaking post-pandemic, while GP workforce numbers are on the decline.

Campaign leads will raise patient safety concerns and set out a 3-point plan for a General Practice rebuild. This must include:

  • Recruitment: The U.K. Government delivering on its commitment of an additional 6,000 GPs in England by 2024.
  • Retention: Tackling the factors driving GPs out of the profession such as burn out.
  • Safety: A plan to reduce GP workload and in turn improve patient safety.

The plan will deliver the General Practice service that patients and staff deserve. Rebuilding General Practice will:

  • Give GPs across the UK the time back to deliver the quality of care they want to be able to give patients, while ensuring that patients are cared for by the right General Practice team member.
  • Resolve the difficulties many patients are facing in getting timely GP appointments.
  • Benefit the NHS as a whole, by alleviating pressure on hospitals and help to tackle the backlog which existed long before the pandemic.

Read Wessex LMCs Press Release, sent to local media in March 2022: GPs in South of England campaign to rebuild general practice as patient safety at risk

Download Social and digital materials to support the campaign here

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Phase Two (September 2023)

A survey carried out by YouGov found that most people in Britain want to see the same GP each time, in a surgery near where they live.

The poll also revealed the elements of general practice most valued by patients, including:

  • Receiving long-term support for any medical condition (95%)
  • GPs’ ability to treat a wide range of medical issues (96%)
  • Having concerns listened to (97%)
  • Being seen in a friendly environment (90%)

Rebuild General Practice is calling for an end to decades of neglecting the profession – so that GPs can meet the public’s desire for a return of the family doctor.

There is a crisis in general practice caused by a lack of funding and failure to retain doctors in the profession, leading to an inability to deliver the continuous, community centred care desired by patients.

The government must deliver a proper plan to retain the workforce, keep patients safe, and protect the NHS. The Rebuild General Practice Campaign is asking the Government, patients and our colleagues across the NHS to join us in building a long-term patient centred vision for general practice.

Rebuild General Practice is calling for:

  • A plan to retain the GP workforce;
  • Fair funding as part of the wider NHS;
  • Greater freedom and autonomy to do our jobs

Read Wessex LMCs press release here

Download Social and digital materials to support the campaign here

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Get involved – Campaign Assets

Your support to amplify these messages will help raise the alarm and ultimately secure a better working environment for both GPs and patients.

General Practice can like and share the @RebuildGP campaign messages on social media using the hashtag #RebuildGP.

Visit the Rebuild General Practice website and download campaign assets below. Practices are encouraged to use this content to share within their networks, publicise to patients and meet with their local MP.

Draft letter template to send to your local MP

Example Q&A’s for interview purposes

Media Training Pack – Tips to help GPs when dealing with the media

Myth Busting

News Articles

Social and digital materials

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British Social Attitudes Survey

Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level since 1997, according to analysis of the 2021 British Social Attitudes survey (BSA) published 30th March 2022, by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust. Read more here

Dr Rachel Ward, a GP in Oxfordshire who is part of the Rebuild General Practice campaign: “As a doctor who came into General Practice to look after patients, this data is devastating, but it isn’t surprising. Years of underfunding and neglect has left General Practice in crisis. Recruitment and retention of GPs has not kept up with growing demands, yet patient appointments are at an all-time high. Simply, there are not enough GPs to match patients’ needs – and this is the terrible result. To patients, we want to say that we are on your side and we feel your pain. To Government, we ask again for more support to rebuild general practice so that GPs can provide the quality of care our patients deserve.”

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Last Reviewed Date
13/12/2023