Charity Futures 1b: GP’s and long-term condition charities – Improving understanding and engagement with GP’s
  • January 12, 2018

Charity Futures 1b: GP’s and long-term condition charities – Improving understanding and engagement with GP’s

Charities Futures 1 has been launched to enable leading charities to understand how GP’s and long-term condition charities can better support patients.

Focusing on those living with long-term conditions, the collaborative research project has a sixth month timeline. Alterline are running the project with The British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society and Arthritis Research UK taking part.

GP’s and long-term condition charities

The number of people living with long-term condition (LTC) in England is set to rise to 18 million by 20251 and currently LTCs account for at least 50% of GP appointments.2 There are a number of challenges GPs are currently grappling with. Consultations are increasing but the GP workforce is struggling to keep up.3 With our ageing population, needs are becoming more complex, and more people are needing to be treated in the community rather than hospital.4

With this context in mind, the aim of the project is to understand how specialist healthcare charities can support general practice to achieve faster diagnosis and improved patient care.

This study is a fantastic opportunity to better understand how we can support GPs in their efforts to manage people living with long term conditions. Like the other partner charities, we are keen to understand the needs and challenges GPs face in their day to day work. We will do all we can to improve GPs’ access to the appropriate knowledge and information they require in supporting patients to manage their condition. Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation

Charity Futures 1b: GP’s and long-term condition charities – project outcomes:

The study will canvas the views of 200 GPs – using quantitative and qualitative research methods to identify:

  • what GPs need most from healthcare charities and how this can be best be delivered
  • how charities could help with the wider issues facing primary care
  • how charities can ensure their engagement reduces rather than increases the burden of work for GPs.

Bringing groups of charities together creates a space where they can address common issues, share knowledge, learn from each other’s experiences and generate smarter solutions.

 At a time of increasing pressure on health services, this research and analysis will help health charities better understand how they can most effectively inform and support the work of frontline clinicians.  We envisage the research shaping innovative tools for patients, informing evidence-led campaigns, and, by bringing charities together, developing new ways to collectively engage GPs.Ben Hickman, Research Director at Alterline

Field research has already commenced, and the final Charity Futures 1b: GP’s and long-term condition charities report will be published by the end of February 2018.

Other work with GP’s and charities

Charity Futures 1 has two strands, running in tandem, with the focus on cancer charities. The other strand (Charity Futures 1a) is supported by: Beating Bowel Cancer, The Brain Tumour Charity, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Interested in future projects?

If you’d like to discuss this project or would be interested in applying to be part of other projects, then please contact Jessica Flavell on 0161 605 0862 or e-mail




1 House of Commons Health Committee, 2014
2 Department of Health, 2012
3 Baird, Charles, Honeyman, Maguire, & Das, 2016
4 Baird et al., 2016