Bestselling book exploring the GP crisis published today

Image shows the cover of 'Why Can't I See My GP?: The past, present and future of general practice' by Dr Ellen Welch with a foreword by Dr Amir Khan. The cover is blue and features a green stethoscope. The text reads 'Published Today! If you've ever found yourself frustrated by the length of time it took to get a GP appointment then this book is for you'.

A new book by a former Doctors’ Association UK co-chair that highlights the crisis facing general practice is published today.

Why Can’t I See My GP? The Past, Present and Future of General Practice by Dr Ellen Welch is released by Calon/University of Wales Press – and is already listed as a best seller on Amazon and is being reprinted.

Dr Welch said: “This book shines a light on the issues affecting general practice.

“It aims to communicate some of the problems, and to provide some practical solutions that can help improve the situation.

“General practice holds the NHS together and it needs urgent investment to avoid it following in the footsteps of NHS dentistry.

“We urge anyone with a stake in the NHS – staff, patients, leaders – to take a read.

“If general practice fails, the NHS fails so we need both understanding and investment from our government.”

DAUK members can get a 20 per cent discount on the book by ordering via the the Calon website. Members should have received an email with details of how to claim their discount.

Dr Welch has been featured in the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times and in the i News to discuss the book and the challenges facing general practice.

Her book prompted debate on Good Morning Britain about which types of ailments people should see their GP with, and whether children should be taught in schools how to use and access the NHS.

She has also been interviewed on Sky News, BBC Radio 5Live and BBC Radio Cumbria, the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, as well as Medscape and Medriva.

Her book has been reviewed in the Daily Telegraph – with lots more media engagements planned.

DAUK has sent a copy of the book to all 650 MPs in the hope that with an election looming and the NHS a priority to the public, it will put general practice at the top of every manifesto. Please tweet or write to your own MP to ask if they have read it.

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.”

All royalties from the book are being donated to DAUK.