Practices in England will be issued with posters directing patients to the BMA website to get the ‘real story about what is happening in the NHS’ on several issues, including new competition rules and rising patient demand for NHS services.
The BMA said it launched the patient portal today, at www.changingnhs.com because it believes patients are not getting the ‘real story’ about what is happening to the NHS at a time of ‘profound change’.
MPs will also be invited to practices in their constituencies to talk to practice staff, the BMA said.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘The NHS is experiencing a period of profound change as it tries to absorb the impact of the Health and Social Care Act and unprecedented pressure from rising patient demand and an increasingly tight financial climate. General practice in particular is facing a testing time as it comes to terms with the introduction of clinical commissioning groups, imposed changes to the GP contract and continued pressure on out-of-hours services.
‘GPs feel that our patients aren’t getting the real story about what is happening in the NHS which is why the BMA is launching this initiative. In a turbulent world, it is vital that GPs play a key role in giving patients the information they need about how their NHS is changing. We will be building on this initiative over the coming months, as we respond to the impact of the changes and pressures and as we seek to develop a positive way forward for general practice for our patients.’
The BMA said the campaign was the ‘first phase of a longer-term programme to engage with the public on the future of general practice’.