Our vision: to transform access to medical care.

Good news doesn’t sell… does get passed on

For many years my wife and I have woken up to the soothing strains of Radio 3 (70 years old today) at precisely 7.04am, to ensure that we miss the news.

Our generation are the luckiest humans ever to have lived on earth, yet corruption, violence and calamity make up so much of what the media feeds us.

Good news doesn’t sell, they say, and pychologists think they understand.  The only positive I can draw from the research on why all the news is bad is that we are more likely to share positive stories with friends.

Well, let me tell you about something momentous happening in Northern Ireland, consistently found to be the happiest place in the UK.  We helped four practices there through our launch programme and we took the evidence to the chief executive of the health board.

It’s the same evidence that we have put to NHS England times, and to endless CCG board meetings, groups large and small over the last five years, all of whom smiled kindly and explained to us why it wouldn’t work.

But the chief executive of the NI Health Board said “I get this.  How fast can you roll it out?”

Dr Tom Black is the chairman of NI’s GPC and is leading change from the front.  He has written for the BMA and the RCGP.  Hear him make the deeply unsettling and countercultural claim that “the GPs are more relaxed.”

New video:  Northern Ireland GPs lead the way

At the invitation of the Health Board, a further 28 practices are planning to change before Christmas, and we may see the start of an unstoppable movement.  How to spin this?

92% of NI GPs shun free help with workload

Patients rage: “It would be extremely hard to use this service if I worked full time”.  “Older people would struggle”.  “You’re not having to call the surgery 50 times.”

I’m rubbish at bad news.  Will never get a media job.


Harry Longman

Founder, Chief Executive, GP Access Ltd

PS.  Meanwhile NHS England is throwing £6/pt/year at extended hours and weekend working.  They totally miss the point about what matters to patients, undermining continuity of care at huge cost, simply ignoring the evidence.  If over the next 18 months we see NI primary care moving clearly ahead of England in terms of patient satisfaction, cost effectiveness and GP morale, you read it here first.

PPS  New resource, all patient feedback on askmyGP reviewed and complete unedited raw data available here.

One response to “Good news doesn’t sell… does get passed on”

  1. Terry Watkins says:

    Harry, I feel a movement coming on and we had better get used to it!! Fantastic blog and right on the mark and the money… keep them coming as we move through the austerity and challenging times ahead and perhaps we can get the decision makers to stop and listen.

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