Grassroots GP has been developed by a group of like-minded GPs following conversations on Twitter about the dominant voices in healthcare. We are deeply concerned that much of the comment influencing the provision of healthcare in the UK, and the wider world, originates from sources that are steeped in vested interests, or from those who are unable to speak freely because their hands are tied.
All too often the prevailing narrative in medicine serves the interests of politicians, pharmaceutical companies, medical experts, and even well meaning, but sometimes misguided medical charities, while the true interests of the patient seem to be sidelined and disregarded. The consulting room, which used to be the exclusive domain of the patient and their doctor, now feels crowded by the demands of all these interest groups wanting to influence the doctor-patient relationship – the end result all too frequently being to undermine the trust between patient and doctor and harms to the patient which are often ignored or underplayed.
Grassroots GP hopes to provide an alternative voice which puts the needs of the patient back at the centre of the healthcare debate. We believe that GPs are uniquely placed to bring the breadth of their experience to the discussion, and that the perspective of a generalist gives a vital balance to the views of experts.
The website includes a shared blog providing comment on topical issues which concern us. We are open to considering guest blog posts for publication, so please do get in contact if you share our values and feel would like to contribute to the debate. The site also gives us the opportunity to draw together collaborative work that we are engaged with in the wider media and the medical press, such as the current debate over dementia screening.
Issues about which we are particularly concerned at the moment include: The balance of risks and harms in health screening; the lack of regulation of private health screening companies; the need for full patient information and consent in their healthcare decisions; the drive for early diagnosis in dementia; and the damaging effect of the way the GP contract has developed in recent years. This list is far from exhaustive, and there will always be a need to speak out on these issues which affect us all.
The site is managed by Martin Brunet and John Cosgrove. We are happy to be contacted if you have comments to make about Grassroots GP, or would like us to consider an article for a Guest Post.