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Patient and staff insight are missing from plan to fix GP ‘8am scramble’

Writing in The Times, Miriam Levin, our CEO, says the Government’s plan to address GP appointments would be more likely to succeed if it included the perspectives of those who are at the sharp end of the problem.

You can read Miriam’s article on The Times’s website, behind this paywall link.

Here’s a summary of the key points made…

NHS communication breakdown

Miriam welcomes the government’s plan, but says Engage Britain’s work with the public, patients and staff shows there’s much more to do.

Our People’s Panel made ‘poor communication’ one of its top two priorities for improving Britain’s health and care.

The label ‘poor communications’ includes things like missed appointments, lost letters, trouble booking to a see a GP and much more.

Experiences of people not knowing where to turn as a result of poor communications.

While these issues may not lead to headlines, they cause misery, stress and a loss of faith in the system for many people – and can waste time and resources.

Public, patients and staff can help unlock solutions

Our work with people who understand what is going wrong – including long term patients, and GP practice managers – chimes with some of the Government’s plan. 

This includes training more ‘care navigators’ who can help to steer patients to primary care services other than GPs.

But our participants said for this role to work, patients will need to understand and have confidence in their care navigators – something the plan doesn’t address.

And that can only happen if there’s a way for patients’ experiences to shape both the training offered and the campaign to raise awareness in those roles.

Read more

Our group of patients, public and staff made other recommendations, which you can read here.

Please, if you can, read Miriam’s full piece in The Times and help raise awareness by sharing the article.

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