The NHS Change Day is a grassroots movement billed as an opportunity to ‘unite staff and patients in making thousands of small but positive changes’.
It began in 2013 as a Twitter conversation, and evolved into a collective day of action that garnered 189,000 pledges to improve the NHS.
The initiative went on to win a global challenge for management innovation prize organised by Harvard Business Review and management consultants McKinsey.
However, GPs have yet to show much interest in the movement. Last year they accounted for just 1% of the total number of pledges. GP involvement is again low this year, with only a few so far making a pledge on the NHS Change Day website.
Overall, more than 143,000 pledges have currently been made to this year’s campaign, with the figure climbing significantly each hour. NHS Change Day hopes to achieve a total of 500,000 pledges in 2014.
Among the GPs who have made a pledge was Dr Andrew Boyd who promised to ‘introduce myself by name and with a smile to all patients and shake their hand’.
Dr Jonathan Griffiths, GP chairman of NHS Vale Royal CCG, Cheshire, pledged ‘to spend an hour working with our receptionists, answering phones, dealing with people in reception and other admin tasks’. He also promised to ‘introduce myself to my patients using my first name’.
GP Dr Kate Davies said: 'I pledge to introduce myself to every patient and try to ensure no patient leaves with unspoken questions or fears. And follow #nodecisionaboutmewithoutme.'
GP trainee Natasha Rnaga also promised to ‘encourage health promotion in GP and help patients think more about obesity and healthy life style’. She added that she would ‘encourage the public to think about organ donation’.
Last year Dr Stuart Sutton, a GP in east London and one of the founders of the initiative, said GPs are in a ‘brilliant position to make change happen’.
GPs who want to take part on 3 March can do so at the NHS Change Day website. GP’s pledge is that we will do all we can to encourage our readers to take part.