Professor Clare Gerada: RCGP conference will be memorable

The RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference, now in its sixth year, gets bigger and busier every year.

From Thursday, nearly 2,000 GPs, practice team colleagues and exhibitors will be taking over Harrogate International Centre for an action-packed three days, in a programme that includes health secretary Jeremy Hunt, author Dr Ben Goldacre, Radio 4's Dame Jenni Murray and Louise Casey, head of the Troubled Families Programme at the DH - all aiming to challenge, change, or cement our views.

Sadly, this will be my last conference as chairwoman. But I still have lots to do before I step down, not least promoting the RCGP's call for fair funding for general practice.

GPs make 90% of patient contacts within the NHS in England for only 9% of the budget. This needs to change and the conference will be a powerful platform for getting our messages across - with GP on hand to capture every debate and discussion.

The theme this year is Progressive Primary Care, so apt in the year that the RCGP has published our vision of the future of general practice.

The NHS is changing, general practice is changing, our patients are changing and our conference is the perfect opportunity to look to the future.

It is also a forum in which to celebrate the excellent care GPs provide for millions of patients every day, and remarkable clinical advances.

Recurring themes this year will be health inequalities, medical ethics, new technologies in general practice and the integration of services.

You might remember from last year that social media and our conferences go hand in hand. We trended number one in the UK on Twitter with the launch of our groundbreaking Social Media Highway Code and I hope we can replicate this with #RCGPSAM when we'll be asking whether social media can bridge the gap between primary and secondary care.

There's still time to book. If you can't attend, you can catch up with what's happening by using the general hashtag #RCGPAC.

With an inspirational line-up of speakers and a huge range of issues, this conference is going to be one to remember. See you there!

  • Professor Gerada is a GP in London.

The GP team will be producing a special daily edition of GP magazine at the RCGP conference, and you could win an iPad by visiting us at Stand 50. Find out more here.

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