Meet the maverick GPs prescribing lifestyle medicine

Primary care as it has been practised for decades is widely acknowledged as being in meltdown. “It has to change,” a woman GP from Essex says, “because we simply can’t carry on as we are.”

Indeed Manchester GP Dr Rangan Chatterjee (BBC1’s Doctor in the House) has suggested he could only treat one in five patients satisfactorily using what he was taught at medical school.

The good news is that the delivery of primary health care is changing. Independent-minded NHS GPs up and down the country are now putting the patient at the centre of care and bringing in a wide range of different support mechanisms with positive results.

In September the Guild has invited some key speakers to talk about the way this kind of approach is making a real difference. 


Introduction from Tine Van Bortel, Principal Investigator, Cambridge Institute of Public Health

Dr Michael Dixon, a GP in Devon, Chair of the College of Medicine and NHS England National Clinical Champion Lead for Social Prescription will talk about the origins of social prescribing, how it is now being integrated into mainstream NHS primary care, and the evidence for effectiveness for both patients and GPs.

Sir Sam Everington, a GP in east London, Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, and NHS England national adviser on general practice care models. He will discuss how social prescribing works in a deprived area by creating a community based primary care model that connects patients with different needs with voluntary and social sectors.

Dr Helen Kingston, a GP in Frome, Somerset, launched the Compassionate Frome project in 2013 to combat loneliness and isolation. She will explain the background to this and discuss the cycle of illness, loneliness, more illness, and the neuroscience behind it.

Dr Ayan Panja, a Hertfordshire GP and presenter of Health Check on BBC World News, was joint founder of the RCGP Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine course. He will suggest that a Lifestyle Prescription should become the first treatment most patients are offered and talk about the feedback from GPs who have taken the course.

Dr Campbell Murdoch, a GP in the South West of England. NHS Somerset  CG Person-Centred Care Lead is Medical Officer for He will discuss the benefits of exercise and the effects of a low carbohydrate diet on the health of people with Type 2 diabetes.

The evening will end with a Q and A session, followed by supper and networking.

Date: 25 September 2018
Registration 6pm, Presentations begin 6.30pm
Venue: The King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN
Tickets: £10 Guild members, £15 non-member Guests (invited by Guild members), available from the Guild office –
‘The Guild of Health Writers thanks The Utley Foundation for their generous sponsorship of this event and would like to state that this is an independent event. In accordance with its objectives, the Guild aims to provide a balanced, non-partisan forum for discussion and does not endorse any commercial products’.