Doctor breathes life into contract saga

Doctor dropped its traditional format and designed a special front page to mark the decision by GPs to accept a new contract, writes Ruth Addicott.

Instead of the usual four stories and a picture, the cover featured 38 words of display and 17 of text to underline the importance of what is believed to be the biggest change for general practice in nearly 40 years.

The issue also devoted seven pages of news to the ballot and its implications inside.

Inspired by news editor Simon Ebbett, the front page was designed by art editor Peter Slocombe and researched by senior reporter Judy Sands.

Editor and Chelsea supporter Phil Johnson said the GP contract saga has had more twists and turns than Gianfranco Zola on a Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge. Doctor has been covering the story for nearly two years.

“It was an absolutely huge story for us and such a big event we thought we could not do it justice by doing our normal front page. There were so many twists and turns. Simon came up with the idea and we tried to put it in context in a very succinct way,” he said.

Doctor is also planning to launch 10 special supplements about the GP contract in the autumn.

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