MWord – Issue 15

  • Mword
Dear colleague,

As we knuckle down after another week of media onslaught, I  have 3 topics to cover:

1. A brief MMR update
2. The latest ideas emanating from the Secretary of State
3. The Londonwide LMCs’ General Practice Cares campaign

As ever, if you have any feedback, thoughts, queries or concerns, please send to And do remember to put up our posters in your waiting rooms.

With best wishes

Dr Michelle Drage FRCGP
Chief Executive

1. A Brief MMR Update

There is no further information to update you on – however, any issues do let us know

2. The latest ideas emanating from the Secretary of State

In his speech to the Kings Fund last week held, at the same time as the Annual Conference of LMCs as if deliberately designed to draw attention from your LMCs’ event, Mr Hunt announced a number of initiatives. These focused on relieving demand on A&E, including fast tracking integrated care initiatives, ‘checking up’ on  patients after  they are discharged from hospital, and reversing the 2004 GP contract agreement to get GPs to take back responsibility for out of hours care, which he blamed for a rise in A&E attendances. Needless to say this all appealed to the Daily Mail which had went on of its nastier frenzies. The Guardian, among others however, was far more supportive. Other key influencers, such as Nigel Edwards from the Kings Fund who’s analysis pointed out that A&E figures now included all the attendances at Walk-in and Urgent Care Centres, and Mike Farrar, CEO of The NHS Confederation (the government’s chief negotiator for the 2004 contract), made a clear statement that the 2004 contract was not the cause. And there we have it – the 2014 contract negotiations prelude. I shall try and keep you up to speed with events as they unravel over the coming weeks.

3. The Londonwide LMCs’ General Practice Cares campaign

One thing we know is that our patients rank GPs at the top of the trusted professionals scale. Your miraculous patient experience survey results bear additional witness to this. We want to keep it that way. Which is why, following my message last week in M word 14 your practice should this week receive hard copies of  two different patient information posters designed to put the record straight about the enormous value and values of day to day General Practice. We want patients to understand the pressures you are under on a day to day basis, and we also want them to understand what they would lose. The posters are designed to penetrate rather than sabre-rattle or sensationalise. This is intended to be a sustained campaign, and to change perceptions against the rising tide of negative media messages and political statements, as we head towards the general election in 2015.  This needs everyone involved in General Practice to play a part, now and over the weeks to come.

In response to feedback, the posters are also available in landscape, optimised for viewing on digital displays in practices.

As a reminder, our General Practice Cares campaign will include:

  • A series of patient information posters for practices
  • Generating local media coverage featuring ‘a day in the life of a GP’, practice nurse, practice manager etc
  • Encouraging the medical press to expose the realities of life in the surgery today
  • Surveying our constituents on their extra workload etc and using the results to generate further media coverage

So far the feedback so far from practices – even those outside London – has been very encouraging, with some busy GPs, practice managers and nurses offering to help us ‘tell it as it is’ in their local media. If you haven’t been in touch yet, and think you might like to be interviewed in your local paper, do let the team know. It’s worth bearing in mind that the majority of the media can be extremely helpful in getting our messages out to patients, the public, decision makers and opinion formers and the skilled team here at Londonwide LMCs will work hard to ensure your views are not misrepresented or misquoted. And will act swiftly if, by mistake, they are.

Our grateful thanks to the Morden Hill Surgery, Lewisham who responded to our urgent request to take part in a television interview about the campaign and the daily pressures practices are under.

Please do continue to let our Communications Team here at Londonwide LMCs have your feedback at

If any practices would be keen on liaising with us in generating some positive local media coverage on, say, a day in the life of a GP or practice nurse or receptionist – to demonstrate the complexity and intensity of your work, Sue Broome, Director of Communications on 020 7387 2034 ext 253 or at, would appreciate hearing from you.