Charity begins at the GP’s

Press Release

In the latest issue of Pulse, we are looking at the campaigns that urge patients to ‘go see your GP’ – even when it is clinically inappropriate.

It centres around Public Health England’s endorsement of the ‘Heart Age Test’, which instructs all patients over the age of 30 to go see their GP, nurse or pharmacist if they don’t know their blood pressure or cholesterol levels. We investigate the anatomy of the campaigns, looking at the charities and pharmaceutical companies behind them, and ask whether they are taking attention away from disease areas that need greater awareness.

We also investigate the failure of the Government’s flagship seven-day GP access policy. It is being rolled out across the country this month, yet a Pulse freedom of information request reveals that one in four evening and weekend appointments are unfilled. In one CCG, only 3% of Sunday appointments are filled.

The head of the GP partnership review, Dr Nigel Watson, spoke exclusively to us before the publication of his interim report, telling us that his group is focusing on making partnerships more flexible, removing last-man-standing liabilities and ensuring that partners’ pay reflects the extra responsibilities they have above their salaried counterparts.

The clinical section looks at key questions on vertigo, our ‘How to spot zebras’ series this month focuses on carcinoid syndrome and we examine challenges in gastroenterology.

Copperfield can suffer fools no longer, while Dr Zoe Norris gears herself up for the annual flu race.