A big thank you to Susan Salmon for taking us round Cannon Hall and showing us the wide variety of plants which have medicinal properties. It was interesting and will hopefully prove relevant if patients discuss the use of herbs during consultations.
We (the TPDs) attended a meeting hosted by the Deanery regarding the topic of leadership as part of the GP training. A number of questions were raised: what is leadership, why should we be looking at leadership and how are we/could we incorporate leadership into our training programmes? The deanery has been looking at leadership in detail over recent months and now have webpage with useful tips and links. There was a general concensus that we do not always recognise that what we are teaching on the half day release is indeed related to leadership. It was also apparent, after listening to the First5 GPs who spoke at the meeting, that very few of us think that we are “leaders” – even though as part of our day to day job as GPs we need numerous leadership skills in order to function effectively.
There is no way of doing justice to the topic of leadership in such a short post, however, if you are interested and wanted to find out more there a number of websites which are worth checking out such as the NHS Leadership Academy, the RCGP and the London Leadership Academy toolkit.
NICE have just released their updated guidelines on lipid modification for both primary and secondary care. These have led to a lot of debate about the pros and cons of reducing the threshold for starting statins in patients with a cardiovascular risk of 20% to 10%. It may also have ramifications in terms of workload for general practice in terms of monitoring statin use.
Health Education England have also just released their report on how to shore up the falling numbers of GPs. The report focuses on the shift of hospital training jobs to general practice, although how this work when current GP training vacancies are underfilled is yet to be seen.
Finally, there was an excellent Radio 4 programme on assisted dying. There is currently a bill going through the House of Lords and the debate on Radio 4 is very thought provoking, especially as caring for dying patients forms such an important part of a GP’s daily work.
There have been a number of queries about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (or what used to be CRB checks). It does appear that it is the responsibility of individuals to pay for their own DBS checks (See Slide 6 of this presentation from Health Education West Midlands) where as in the past this was paid for by the Employer. More information about DBS checks for Doctors in training can be found on the NHS Employers website. It looks as though you may update your DBS check rather than repeat the process of applying for a new check and this can be done via the gov.uk website (thank you Matt).
Thank you to Ryan Offutt who came to do a session on how the art of Improvisation can highlight communication skills and hopefully improve them too. Ryan helps organise and run a group called MB Improv (based in Sheffield) and it struck me at the recent South Yorkshire GP Conference earlier this year what a fresh and innovative method improvisation was for teaching communications skills.
Improvisation is steadily gathering an evidence base to support its use in medical education (see the following link from pubmed) and hopefully the feedback from today’s session will further support our decision to include it as part of the GP training programme.
This clip is of one of Ryan’s warm up games – enjoy!