Why Can’t I See My GP? to be republished after topping best-seller list

A new book by a former Doctors’ Association UK co-chair that highlights the crisis facing general practice is already a best seller – before it’s even published.

Why Can’t I See My GP? The Past, Present and Future of General Practice by Dr Ellen Welch is due to be published on Thursday 8 February and is already listed as a best seller on Amazon.

Its publisher Calon/University of Wales Press has announced it is already being reprinted, such is the demand. All royalties are being donated to DAUK.

Dr Welch said: “This book is a cumulation of the work done with DAUK since the pandemic, shining a spotlight on the issues within general practice.

“The hope is our leaders will read the experiences of NHS staff, and take positive action to invest in the service.

“Primary care holds the NHS together and when it collapses, we will be left with a private healthcare system that many will be unable to afford.”

DAUK has sent a copy of the book has been sent to all 650 MPs and hopes, with 2024 an election year and the NHS a priority to the public, it will put general practice at the top of every manifesto.

The book walks us through the state of general practice with passionate testimony from GPs who live and breathe the NHS.

Why Can’t I See My GP?  outlines what the problems are, why we have reached this point, and offers some workable solutions.

It is full of personal accounts from GP leaders including Dr David Wrigley, the deputy chair of the BMA GP committee; Dr Lizzie Toberty, GP lead for DAUK; and Dr Paul Evans, GP and chair of Gateshead and North Tyneside LMC.

Other contributors include health writer Ellie Philpotts, broadcaster and commentator Roy Lilley, and Chris Milligan, the husband of GP Dr Gail Milligan, who took her own life in 2022, and Dr Aman Amir, a Merseyside GP whose surgery was subject to an arson attack.

Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, chair of the British Medical Association’s England GP committee, said: “This is essential reading for any of us who may want to justifiably know why the jewel in the heart of the NHS crown may be lost forever.

“As the saying goes, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’. Thankfully Ellen Welch presents us with elegant solutions.”

Dr Matt Kneale, co-chair of DAUK, said: “This book is essential reading for anyone who values the ethos of a universal healthcare system and the indispensable role of a family doctor.

“It beckons public awareness and action at a time when it’s most needed.”

Dr Phil Whitaker, GP and author of What Is a Doctor?, added: “The passion for delivering high quality medical care shines out from each contribution to this unique book, and is matched only by the perplexity at the disintegration of what has long been the jewel in the NHS’s crown – British general practice.

“If it is to be restored, some of the solutions will be found within these pages.”

Polly Morland, author of A Fortunate Woman, said: “A book that combines clear-sighted pragmatism with a keen and compassionate ear for the GP experience on the ground.

“A valuable contribution to an urgent debate.

“I hope the book finds many readers both within and beyond the medical profession — above all, among healthcare policymakers. Let’s hope they’re listening.”

Why Can’t I See My GP? by Dr Welch is published by Calon/University of Wales Press on 8 February.