The GP letter experiment: so what the bl**dy hell is BERT?

ANALYSIS: And what of the role played by the RACGP and AMA?

Although very few were aware what was happening, last year some 5300 GPs were the lab rats in an experiment concocted by a small unit based in the bowels of the Department of Health known as BERT.


BERT, which stands for the Behavioural Economics and Research Team, was set up with the idea of using psychology to alter, change and adapt the behaviour of those who fall under the department’s wide remit - including GPs it seems.

The experiment was a simple one — what would happen if you sent out four different versions of a letter alerting doctors to their relatively high