GP campaign urges basic questions before trip to doctor

Royal College of General Practitioners NI says GP workload up significantly

Northern Ireland GPs have launched a campaign encouraging patients to help ease mounting pressure on their services by thinking hard before booking appointments.

The GPs are urging people to consider whether their problem can be dealt with in another way.

The Royal College of General Practitioners NI (RCGPNI) said the workload for GPs had increased significantly in the past decade, but investment in general practice had not increased accordingly.

It said the region’s GPs were under “immense pressure” this winter.


Three questions

The new 3 Before GP campaign, which has been advocated by a working group made up of GPs and patients, urges people to ask themselves three questions before booking a GP appointment. These are can the problem be self-treated, is advice available on a reputable website and ould treatment be sought at a pharmacy.

"As patients, we are keen to do what we can to help support our struggling health service," said Karen Mooney, chairwoman of the RCGPNI's patients in practice group. "Working alongside GPs in the college, our patient group is acutely aware of the pressure GPs are facing.

“We are asking GPs, pharmacists and others to display the new campaign poster to give patients information on how to best use services. This is our health service, and everyone has a role to play in making sure people can access the care they need, in the right place, at the right time.” – Press Association