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Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 2009 September 1; 59(566): 692–693.
PMCID: PMC2734360

Authors' response

Amanda Howe
School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norfolk NR4 7TJ. E-mail:
Nigel Mathers
Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S5 7AU

It is wonderful to be reminded of another example of great general practice research leadership with so many outputs. Four key things unite all this correspondence — a passion for general practice; a thirst for relevant new knowledge starting within that clinical setting; a commitment to the recognition of the huge efforts made by GPs and other primary care researchers; and a concern that excessive bureaucracy, underfunding, and lack of support by practice colleagues could damage the increasingly impressive profile of internationally successful GP research in the UK. Our main concern was to broaden awareness of how much the RCGP already does to support individual researchers, practice-based research, and the strategy and delivery of the national research agenda. Both the Seamarks and Tudor Hart acknowledge the need for GPs to group up to deliver: ‘Multicentre studies on and with participating patients, conducted peripherally by primary care staff with personal knowledge of and responsibility for those patients, and coordinated centrally by groups including both fully trained researchers and experienced primary care staff, provide the only possible sites for research on patients as they actually are, where they actually live, which we must have for guidelines to become optimally effective aids to clinical decisions.’1 The individual GP researcher is not extinct — they are just working with others across the UK, backed by the RCGP, and advocating for the highest quality research we can deliver at all levels.


Re: Practice-based research

This correspondence is now closed — Ed.


1. Tudor Hart J. Clinical research by GPs in their own practices. Br J Gen Pract. 2009;59(560):214–215. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners