Last week Alopecia UK’s Charity Manager and Communications Manager, Jen and Amy, attended the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) conference in Glasgow.
The annual RCGP conference is one of the largest gatherings for GPs in the UK. It was the first time Alopecia UK has attended an event specifically for GPs. We made the decision to attend as we are very keen to raise awareness of both the charity and alopecia amongst GPs. Members regularly tell us that their experience with their GP is not a positive one.
Alopecia is not something that is covered in any detail on the curriculum for GPs when training. One of the things that GPs told us at the event was they struggle to know what to do with patients with alopecia.
As well as handing out leaflets about Alopecia UK we also gave out a flyer we had produced detailing ten ways GPs could help those with alopecia. When speaking to GPs at the event we emphasised that the key message we wanted them to take away was that hair loss has a psychological impact.
We updated our ‘Wild West’ board that we took to both the British Dermatology Nursing Group conference and British Association of Dermatologists' annual meeting. We incorporated feedback from our members covering ‘the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ regarding their experience with GPs. This was popular with visitors to our stand with many commenting how terrible some of the bad experiences were.
We were really pleased with the number of GPs who called at our stand to chat with us. We had lots of really positive interactions and many GPs told us that they didn’t realise there was a charity for people with alopecia. As a small charity, without the marketing budget of many larger charities, this is understandable but we were still surprised by how many had not heard of us. The RCGP conference provided us an opportunity to stand beside some of these larger charities. It was inspiring for us to chat to these charities and see the communications materials they have available to medical professionals.
All in all the RCGP conference was a hugely positive experience and we are definitely considering adding it to our calendar as it will really help us to meet our aim of raising awareness of the condition with medical professionals.