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Fact sheet

Setting up a Newsletter for GP Surguries

How is the initiative run?
Once a month the GP Link Worker sits down to create the newsletter. When she first created it she found a suitable template on Microsoft Publisher and spent a few hours setting it all up. She fills the template with content about what’s been happening in the centre and upcoming events.

Other local organisations who want information about their services to be included in the newsletter email her with this information.

Lisa says “I save it as a PDF document so that it looks professional and send it as a group email to all the carer champions who are appointed in practices – these are usually practice managers – and ask them to forward it on to their colleagues.”

What methods have been particularly effective?
It’s important to make the newsletter attractive to read with pictures and colours. It’s also really important to understand your audience: busy people with heavy workloads. The newsletter should contain small articles so that it will be something that can easily dip into when they have a few minutes to spare. If it’s several pages long with lots of text-heavy articles they are less likely to read it because they’ll think ‘I don’t have time for that now’ and inevitably it will fall down their list and eventually drop off completely.

For a while Halton Carers Centre used to customise every newsletter for each GP practice so that it included a bulletin about the number of carers they had referred to the centre in the past month. They believed this motivated them to keep their referral figures up because initially the PCT was providing funding to practices for every carer they referred to the centre. Halton Carers Centre stopped customising each newsletter with these figures when the PCT no longer funded each referral. However, feeding back to GPs how many carers they have identified every month may still be something other GP Liaison workers might like to consider including in their newsletters.

Have there been any challenges along the way?
There hasn’t been any challenges – it’s a straightforward job to create and send the newsletters each month and they are well-received by the practice staff.

Are there any useful documents that can assist me?
There are two examples of Halton Carers Centre’s GP Link Update which you can access via the links below. These will give you an idea of how you can present your newsletter and the kind of the content you might like to include. The first one is an early example when the number of referrals made in a month was included; the second example is a more recent one from February 2012.

There is also an example newsletter template which is from Microsoft Word 2010.
Example Of A GP Newsletter (776 KB) (776 KB)
Example Of A GP Newsletter February 2012 (612 KB) (612 KB)
Newsletter Blank Template - Microsoft Word 2010 (45 KB) (45 KB)

Where can I get further information?
Lisa Horrocks
Halton Carers' Centre
62 Church Street
01928 580182

When was this information collected?
March 2012

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