GPs must market practice services

GPs need to develop marketing and communication strategies to prosper in the newly competitive primary care environment.

In a straw poll of GPs at a branding workshop at the RCGP conference, most admitted their image was 'old fashioned'.

Most of the respondents agreed that they had not committed sufficient resources to communicating with their current, or potential, patients.

Practices were worried about the impact of GP-led health centres on their opening hours, and the potential loss of younger, working patients.

The survey was conducted by Ashridge Communications, the company due to lead the workshop.

Principal consultant Ian Phillips said: 'Much of this was done by word of mouth in the past. Practices need to be more proactive and outgoing'.

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