Research must become part of the culture of primary care

Research needs to become part of the culture of primary care so that all GPs are routinely involved with it, the new head of the RCGP's research centre believes.

Helen Lester (pictured), professor of primary care research at the University of Manchester, became chairman of the RCGP’s Clinical Innovation and Research Centre in July.

She wants GPs to move away from research being something that a few hundred GPs in university are involved with.

‘I want to move to an approach where every GP realises that much of the excellent care that they provide to patients is informed by research from primary care,’ she said. ‘GPs themselves can inform the future research questions and the process of collecting that evidence.’

Professor Lester believes that, at the moment, research is simply not part of the culture of primary care.

‘In that sense we are out of sync with our colleagues in secondary and tertiary care where research is given far more emphasis,’ she said.

The principles of research need to be part of teaching all through undergraduate and post graduate training, she believes.

‘What I want to do is to try and convince all GPs that a scholarly approach to primary care is something that everybody would want to do,’ she said. ‘I want "scholarly" to be an acceptable word for GPs.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP on phone in recorded consultation assessment

Consultation skills to help GP trainees pass the RCA

Dr Afsar Rizvi highlights the key skills GP trainees need to master in order to pass...

Wes Streeting

Labour promises same GP 'each appointment' and face-to-face access if patients want it

A Labour government would offer patients the chance to see 'the same doctor each...

Man wearing mask on train

UK faces serious threat from flu and COVID-19 'twindemic' this winter

There are strong indications the UK faces a dangerous 'twindemic' of COVID-19 and...

NHS sign outside a building

PCN contract overhaul defers two-week appointment target until April 2023

NHS England has announced changes to the network contract DES, including deferring...


NHS sets out priorities for extra GP funding this winter

Integrated care boards could target extra funding for general practice at phone systems,...

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves

Labour promises to double medical school places with tax cut reversal

A Labour government would double medical school places with funding raised from reversing...