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Freedom of information requests: It’s a GP practice thing campaign

As part of our efforts to be as open and transparent as possible we have published the information below which covers the majority of the information that has been requested. Where this has not been possible, we have responded directly to those individuals who have submitted a freedom of information request detailing why we have not been able to provide the information requested.

We are sorry for the errors contained within the materials and apologise unreservedly.  We are confident that these were genuine mistakes and that there was no attempt to develop materials that are misleading to the public.  Our full statement acknowledges this

Naming of individuals involved in developing and/or approving campaign materials

Our responses to freedom of information requests will not name any individuals, however we can confirm that the clinical sign off did not include the involvement of anyone who is a physician associate.

We will strongly challenge any suggestions that our colleagues failed to act with integrity, especially where individuals are now being targeted on social media, by email directly to them and through other communications channels.  We have acknowledged the mistakes openly and transparently, have retracted all resources and immediately issued a public apology that acknowledged the honest error.

Communications and marketing campaigns do not come for board level approval. This is done by following an agreed local process for commissioning, developing and signing off materials, and we have successfully delivered several well-recognised – including award-winning – campaigns using this approach. Our internal review will help ensure lessons are learned and shared internally.

What is the ‘It’s a GP practice thing’ campaign?

Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership (one of the five place-based partnerships within the NHS West Yorkshire ICB footprint) developed the insight-led campaign across Bradford District and Craven to increase public awareness of the range of services at GP practices, and how they can be accessed.

The campaign was developed by working with local patient groups and primary care staff across Bradford District and Craven to co-create the most effective messages, design style, community language versions and marketing channels.

Patients and community groups identified that the campaign needs to:

  • Show the different ways in which GP practices can be contacted including booking and managing appointments online;
  • Reinforce the expertise of primary care staff and raise awareness of some of the common medical problems that they’re trained to deal with;
  • Increase the understanding that the range of skilled healthcare professionals means people don’t always need to see a doctor;
  • Explain how triaging works; and
  • Address the audience in an empathetic tone.

People participating in the research overwhelmingly used (and preferred) the phrase ‘GP Practice’. The resulting campaign, ‘It’s a GP Practice thing’, has been built on behavioural science.

Our insight work

We worked closely with colleagues in primary care as well as carrying out insight work involving people from our diverse communities to help develop the campaign and we are clear that our insight work has been done to and gone above industry standards.

Our local Healthwatch report into primary care access also highlighted the confusion among our local population about the different roles within GP practice teams, our campaign has been developed to demystify and address this issue. members of the Bradford District Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee were given sight of the booklet at the development stage. The feedback from members was positive as it helped elected members to respond to constituent concerns and queries. anecdotal evidence from our local GP practices has been positive with a view that we should – once we have reviewed and revised the materials – look to do more awareness raising activity.

You can see the insight reports using the links below:

Creating descriptions for the roles described in the campaign

We have acknowledged the error where we have incorrectly labelled some roles. While these errors are ours, we have worked closely with our GP practices to describe the range of people that could work in any of our local practices – around 60% of contacts in West Yorkshire practices are not with a GP. Since the errors were pointed out, we are grateful that regional and national colleagues have reached out to us to help ensure any future resources can provide as accurate a description as possible for the different roles of people working in GP practice teams.

Consent from people featured on the posters

On Monday 17 June 2024, we contacted those individuals whose photos have been used in the campaign materials and as a result we revised our public statement on Tuesday 18 June to make it explicit that these colleagues did not intentionally misrepresent their roles; they consented to be photographed for the campaign in good faith and the errors were ours. We have apologised to those colleagues whose roles have been mistakenly misrepresented.

Evaluation of the campaign

Our videos for Bradford District and Craven received a total of 804 views across the range of languages and formats on our YouTube channel – note the videos have been withdrawn and will be updated. In addition 1,093 people visited the campaign page on our website, prior to the resources being withdrawn. We are unable to share social media engagement as we, as a precaution, removed all content relating to the campaign by Monday 17 June 2024.

Who commissioned the campaign?

The campaign was commissioned by Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership (specifically through our place-based ICB) in response to the unique challenges presented by both our diverse populations and our diverse geography (from urban inner city localities to extremely rural geographies).  It was part of ongoing work with our communities to help them understand how their GP practice offers services, the range of professionals they may be seen by and how the appointment booking process works. It was a community-centred and insight-led piece of work done at a place level with learning and resources shared across our ICB’s footprint of West Yorkshire.