FAQ'sQuestions and answers about GP Survival
What is the point of GP Survival?
We aim to give a voice to grassroots GPs via social media to defend GPs from attacks by government and the media.
Who are you?
The group is established from volunteers who have formed a steering committee with a view to electing a democratic committee within a year. The steering committee is made up of GPs with a wide range of backgrounds and interests.
Why are you doing this?
We are genuinely concerned about the continual anti-GP rhetoric in the media and dissemination of misinformation. We want to re-balance public discourse and ensure that GPs can feel confident and proud of the excellent work we do.
Who are you aiming to represent?
This is a group by GPs, for GPs. Patients have a plethora of advocacy groups and regulators to stand up for them. This is about putting your interests first though we hope this will benefit patients by making primary care more robust and sustainable.
What gives you a mandate to speak for GPs?
GP Survival has over 5000 members and growing. There is only a mandate if GPs are prepared to join the discussion and debate with us. We will put any key decisions to a vote.
Isn’t this a bit pointless? How can you expect to fight government policy and win?
We feel it is important that GPs can make themselves heard. We are a powerful lobby group if we stand together to counter lies and spin with facts and science. The UK is a democracy and it’s culture and law has been successfully challenged in the past. GP Survival aim to challenge the current negative narrative and spin about GPs which permeates the media. At the very least we don’t intend to give up our noble profession without a fight!
Do you want the NHS to remain in public hands or would you prefer to see it privatised?
We believe the outcome for NHS GPs should remain in GPs hands and they should have control over their destiny. We would like to encourage debate about the future structure of UK primary care but the answer lies with UK GPs, not the steering committee.
Is this group a springboard to furthering individual political ambitions?
No GP Survival members have an agreement that they cannot undertake other national positions within 3y of leaving. This excludes local LMC work.
How are you different from the other groups like the BMA and RCGP?
Our unique selling point is speed. We have an active online community on SoMe mainly Facebook and Twitter which can react very rapidly to breaking news.
Are you trying to compete with the BMA?
No – we are a pressure group. We are not seeking to take over the BMAs negotiating and advisory functions and we don’t have the resources to do so. We are trying to give ordinary jobbing GPs a louder voice than they have at present. We will work with other agencies in the interests of grassroots GPs.
Are you affiliated to any other groups?
There are no formal links to other groups but a lot of us contribute to other groups such as Resilient GP and Tiko’s Facebook group. Some of our members write for other publications. GP Survival aims to have a distinct role to defend and promote general practice.
I already belong to another group or engage with other media, does this group restrict me from participating in other roles?
No. We welcome GPs developing multiple media roles and engaging with the public. Your rights to speak for yourself are of course fully respected.
Can anyone in the group claim to be speaking for the group?
We prefer that your idea is discussed in a forum first before claiming GP survival as the origin of your content. It is accepted that the boundaries can become blurred on social media but the steering committee would like to discuss any communication if it claims to represent GP Survival.
Are you trying to antagonise existing primary care institutions?
There is no intention to upset people doing good work and we are not trying to create division. We feel GPs are stronger when they work together however there are differences in opinion and we welcome debate and intend to challenge to the status quo.
Are you in contact with other primary care institutions?
We have deliberately held GP Survival at arms length from established bodies until we grow strength in numbers. Though we welcome dialog and support from third parties we do not want our agenda diluted by interests in pre-established groups.
Are you trying to make money from this?
No, GP survival is non-profit-making. If it closes, any remaining money will be donated to charity.
How much money does this campaign group need?
The aim is to keep our demands for resources as light as possible by exploiting ‘free’ or inexpensive internet services and by making full use of the efforts of our members.
How do you fund your activity?
We welcome any donations to help run our website and fund campaign materials. We are enormously grateful to any contributors for their uncosted time and effort.
Why are you not a charity?
GP survival has a political dimension. It is not allowed by UK law for charities to campaign politically. This is a grey area as many objectives have a political element but it was felt the definition did not fit this group.
Doctors pressure groups have been tried in the past with partial success, why are you going to be successful now?
The situation is very different to 10y ago. Social media and internet communication and management have revolutionised the way we engage with government and the media. Put simply, it is now much easier to bring like-minded people together and share information and we can also respond to events much faster than in the past.
Are you going to engage in ‘direct action’
GP survival fully respects the rule of UK law and would not condone any action that would endanger the safety and reputation of the group or put the careers and livelihood of its members at risk. Any activities proposed must comply with relevant legislation and we plan only to act safely and responsibly.
How do you ensure that the group behaves ethically?
We expect our members to treat other people as they would wish to be treated. We cannot control social media posts and participants should be aware of legal issues regarding use of social media. We feel it is important to respect other people’s views even if you disagree with them (play the ball, not the man). We ask our members not to engage in insulting or abusive behaviour on-line.
How do you manage your social media activity?
Our Facebook group is a closed group, we are also on Twitter. As with all social media sites these sites should NOT be considered secure. We would ask all people using GP Survival social media familiarise themselves with the GMC guidance.
We expect our members to treat other people as they would wish to be treated. The committee cannot police all social media posts. If the committee believe a post to be offensive it will be removed. We feel it is important to respect other people’s views even if you disagree with them. Members are not permitted to share posts (including photos/screenshots) outside of the Facebook group without permission from the original poster.
GP survival is for the discussion of General Practice and the issues it faces. We ask that members do not post any adverts or clinical problems.
In summary, we ask our members not to engage in insulting or abusive behaviour on-line. Please be aware the Moderators cannot be legally held accountable for other people’s posts/ law, your posts are your own responsibility and liability.