Friday, 28 January 2011

David Cameron writes to GP's through

Yesterday Prime Minister, David Cameron, looked to calm fears and rally support amongst the GP community for the recently published Health and Social Care Bill, with an open message to the members of the online network, The website is the largest network of medical professionals in the UK, with over 90% of the country's practising doctors registered and has been featured here before.

The message, which is available to read here, doesn't really say anything new, but instead attempts to dispel what Cameron terms 'the myths', that have cropped up in the media and around water coolers.

Here's a brief summary;

  • Myth number one that no change is needed. The Prime Minister says that it certainly is, when we lag behind Europe in many key areas.

  • Myth two that the reforms have come out of the blue. Not true, as everything proposed has already been trialled in one way or another before and the changes represent an evolution from what's come before.

  • Myth three that reform is moving too fast. Not so, as there will be a two year transitional period leading up to GP's taking full responsibility, where it can be trialled and the creases ironed out.

  • Myth  four that GP's will have their time taken up with paperwork, rather than treating patients. This will be avoided by offering support and resources to GP's in managing their new responsibilities. Having consortia instead of individuals will allow for those GP's who would rather not take the lead.

  • Myth five that GP's will have to use private firms to help in their commissioning. No, they won't be forced and will have the choice to go elsewhere, such as the Third sector.

As I say, nothing particularly surprising to anyone who has been following the reforms and the message is more a reiteration of what's been said before.

But, what's most interesting about this to me, is the medium by which Cameron has chosen to speak to GPs. is essentially a Social Media website and the fact that the Prime Minister chose it as the best way to address concerns on such an important issue, demonstrates the power of such platforms. Like facebook and other sites of it's ilk, gets massive interaction, with 40,000 unique visitors every day and therefore offers a huge, engaged audience.

Increasingly, Social Media is becoming the number one way by which to reach such audiences, who make up the country's population and to get a message across.

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