Archive | Recruitment & Retention

The Belford: an example of great quality rural healthcare

Dr Patrick Byrne, consultant at the Belford Hospital in Fort William, was involved in hosting a visit from a delegation from the Philipines.  This article featured in Lochaber Life Magazine earlier this month.  It has been reproduced here with the kind permission of Iain Ferguson of the Write Image (picture credits to Iain too).

PHILIPPINE VISITORS TO BELFORD

Dr Patrick Byrne

The Belford Hospital continues to punch above its weight on the national and international stage, welcoming a delegation from the Philippines a few weeks ago.  The visit was part of a week-long study tour to the UK by Presidents and delegates from the Philippine Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, Paediatricians and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, alongside officials from the Philippine Ministry of Health.

Teaching & training for most healthcare providers in the Philippines tends to be concentrated in the largest hospitals in cities, ignoring the district and rural locations.  This is in contrast to the UK where every hospital has a role to play and sometimes the best experiences and training is to be found in the smallest facilities, where one-to-one supervision from consultant teachers is often the norm, not the exception.  The purpose of their study tour was to learn from UK practices, specifically how supporting and investing in rural hospitals leads to a more efficient healthcare system across the region, and the country.

Led by the immediate Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Mr Ian Ritchie (who has family ties to Corpach), the delegates specifically requested to see an example of good training in a small hospital of approximately 100 beds.  Mr Ritchie replied, “I can bring you to a 34-bed hospital where training and patient care is not just good, but excellent”.  The importance of this visit, was underlined by the presence of the most senior NHSH personnel – Prof Elaine Mead (Chief Executive Officer), Mrs Gill McVicar MBE (Director of Operations) and Dr Emma Watson (Director of Medical Education).

Each, in turn, reiterated the importance of consultant-led services and training at Belford Hospital, both now and going forward. However, it was Miss Alison Bradley, a former Belford trainee, now a senior surgical registrar in Glasgow, who captivated and inspired everybody, proving that rurality is no impediment to ambition; quite the opposite, in fact, as she explained the details of her PhD research into pancreatic cancer.

Mr Ritchie said, “It was very clear to all who visited that numbers of beds is not an indicator of good training, it is that key relationship between a trainer and a trainee which, in Fort William, you all demonstrate to a very high degree.  The high point was certainly the Belford.”  In her letter of thanks, on behalf of the College of Paediatrics, Dr Cynthia Daniel echoed this, adding “I am certain with you and the rest who share the same passion for training and service, Belford Hospital should be safe for the next 150 years and beyond”.

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NHS Ayrshire & Arran GP Recruitment Event

The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock: Saturday 4th November 9am-3pm

Who is it for?

GPs, GP Trainees, Foundation Year Doctors, Locums and Practice Managers across Ayrshire and Scotland.

Aims

To promote our fantastic GP community, provide CPD and raise the profile of practices within the Ayrshire and Arran locale.

Benefits:

  • Facilitate GP networking
  • Provide educational sessions
  • Furnish GPs with 5 CPD credits
  • Expedite recruitment opportunities.

GP Contract

We are proud to welcome BMA’s Chair of the Scottish GP Committee, Dr Alan McDevitt, who will be discussing the ongoing contractual negotiations and will provide information on the current conversation with regard to the progress of the debate. 5 CPD credits are available to any practitioner who attends the event and participates in the educational workshops.

More details and the programme are available from this link.

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Rural GPs Scotland (RGPAS) Conference 2017 – registration open

Realising Realistic Rural Medicine

Twitter hashtag: #RGPAS17

Click to visit www.RuralGP.scot

The annual RGPAS (Rural GP’s Association of Scotland) conference will be held on Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th November 2017, at the Craigmonie Hotel in Inverness.

Once again, we hope to welcome both new and experienced rural health professionals, and we have a stimulating programme lined up to cover a wide spectrum of topics which are relevant to rural general practice in Scotland.  You can view information, statistics and feedback from previous conferences here.

This year, conference registrations should be made online.  Until September 1st, registration will be restricted for current RGPAS members.  After September 1st, registration will be open to all.

The cost of conference registration is £130, which includes catering (including Thursday lunch for RGPAS members attending the morning event), the conference dinner and wine on the Thursday evening.  There are no single-day tickets and we hope that this is seen as excellent value for a 2.5-3 day conference.

Trainees can register for £65 (half price), and students who are successful in achieving a student scholarship will be asked to pay a nominal £10 registration fee.

Accommodation should be booked directly with the Craigmonie Hotel (01463 231 649) – unless you wish to stay elsewhere – and special rates are available on mentioning that you are attending the RGPAS conference.

Click here for RGPAS 2017 Online Registration

Never have I been to a conference so friendly, so relaxed, and so full of life.


Programme

Thursday 2nd November 2017

This year, an RGPAS Members-Only meeting will be held on Thursday morning, to which all RGPAS members are invited.  Lunch will be served to attending members after this session, following which the main conference will open.

0930 Registration for RGPAS morning

1000 RGPAS members update :: Dr David Hogg (Chair, RGPAS)

1030 The Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative :: Ralph Roberts (Chair, SRMC)

1100 The New GP Contract :: Dr Andrew Buist (Deputy Chair, BMA Scottish GP Committee)

1130 Open Discussion

1230 Lunch (provided to members attending above session)

Lunch for non-members can be organised with the Craigmonie Hotel by prior arrangement – please contact them directly.

1300 Main Conference Registration

1330 Main Conference Welcome & welcome to students :: Dr David Hogg & Dr Catherine Todd

GPs don’t do OOH any more do we? (Session Chair: Kate Dawson)

1345 BASICS Scotland Update :: Dr Ben Price (Assistant Medical Director, BASICS Scotland)

1415 NHS24: Challenges and Opportunities :: Dr Anna Lamont (Associate Medical Director, NHS 24) and Billy Togneri (Clinical Service Manager, NHS24)

1445 Sponsors’ Spot 10 mins each for Eden Medical, Head Medical and Novacor

1515 Coffee Break

1530 ScotSTAR: Update on Service Development :: Dr Drew Inglis (Associate Medical Director, ScotSTAR)

1600 The SAR helicopter service in Scotland: what has changed? :: Duncan Tripp (Winchman Paramedic, Bristow Search & Rescue)

1630 Open Discussion

1700 Rural LGBTQ+ :: Dr Thom O’Neill (Paediatric Clinical Research Fellow, Edinburgh) including update on latest RGPAS work

1740 The Echo Project :: Dr Jeremy Keen (Consultant in Palliative Medicine, The Highland Hospice)

1800 Finish

Dinner is included in the registration fee for all delegates. Dress is smart casual. Some limited tickets are available for partners or colleagues who wish to join us. Details soon.

1930 Conference Dinner at the Craigmonie Hotel

After Dinner Speaker: Tom Morton “The Rural Doctor’s Wife (!)”


Friday 3rd November

0815 Breakfast Mentoring Session (Students/New Doctors)

0900 Rural Emergency Medicine Update :: Dr Luke Regan (Emergency Physician, Raigmore Hospital)

0930 Remote Practice: Is it really reward without risk? Do patients sue rural doctors? :: Dr Gordon McDavid (Medicolegal Adviser, Medical Protection Society)

1000 Realising Rural Realistic Medicine in Remote Practice :: Dr Kath Jones (Clinical Director, NHS Highland North & West)

1030 Coffee

Unfortunately Dr Hal Maxwell is no longer able to attend the conference, and our EMRS colleagues have had to pull out of the programme due to work pressures, therefore the programme for Friday and Saturday mornings has been rejigged, with further changes to follow. Delegates will be updated with further details once available.

1100 Realistic Research:Why Every Rural GP Should Consider Research :: Prof Phil Wilson (Director, Centre for Rural Health, Inverness)

Parallel Session

  • 1145 Realistic Work/Life: Managing the chaos of family life and Rural GPing- finding your village :: Dr Alida MacGregor (Rural GP, Kyles Medical Centre, Tighnabruaich)
  • 1145 Realistic Collaboration: The Echo Project :: Dr Catherine Todd (GP, The Highland Hospice)

1230 Lunch

1330 Pecha Kucha Sessions

  • The PILL project :: Dr Richard Weekes (Rural GP, Ullapool & Additional Member, RGPAS Committee)
  • Scholarship Presentation: Rural WONCA Conference & Clinical Courage :: Dr David Hogg (Rural GP, Isle of Arran)
  • GURRMS Annual Student Conference :: Josephine Bellhouse (Medical Student & Secretary, Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society)
  • Scholarship Presentation: Journey to Mexico :: Dr Mark Aquilina (Rural GP, Lochgoilhead & Shetland)
  • Selected Student Scholarship presentations

1430 Coffee

1500 AGM – all welcome – agenda items to Dr Susan Bowie (Secretary) by 24th October

1730 Finish

1930 Dinner in Inverness (Shapla Restaurant – TBC)


Saturday 4th November

0930 Looking Forward

(Updated: 22/10/17) In replacement of the EMRS clinical update session, we are delighted to run a session dedicated to GP mentoring, dealing with the stresses of practice, and steps to developing a peer-support or co-mentoring network within RGPAS.  We will also be exploring other ‘next steps’ for RGPAS too.  Full details about this session will be released very soon.

  • Workshop: Challenges of Practice: Building Support Networks :: Dr Susan Bowie (Rural GP, Shetland) and Dr Kate Dawson (Rural GP, Benbecula)
  • How can we help you? :: Aly Dickson (Trustee, The Sandpiper Trust)
  • Next Steps :: David Hogg (Chair, RGPAS)

0930 Visit to Bristow Search & Rescue Helicopter Base, Dalcross, Inverness Airport

Transport leaves Craigmonie Hotel sharp at 0930.  This session is aimed at students and trainees, however if rural GPs wish to attend this, we will endeavour to meet demand for this.

1230 Conference Close

If you wish to book lunch directly with the hotel, please contact reception staff.

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Aberdeen Uni showcases pilot Rural GP exposure for first year students

Aberdeen University Medical School have just released this video to report on a project which enabled first year medical students to experience rural general practice.  A new initiative by the University, made possible by a donation from Mr Joe Officer, saw 14 first year medical students taken on a two day adventure to Cairngorm national park and the surrounding area, to speak to those working in rural practices and to see first-hand the benefits of living and working in the countryside.

It’s increasingly recognised that career advice is essential for the earlier stages of medical school.  Role modelling and creating career aspirations early on can be hugely helpful to students who are thinking about their future career options.  As exposure to rural general practice tends only to be available in the later stages of medical school, this project highlights some of the reactions of students who were given the opportunity to learn more about Rural GP earlier on in their careers.

It’s pretty eye opening just how much can be done in a rural setting when you have a purpose built GP hospital

Kudos to Aberdeen University for recording the experience in such a vibrant and professional manner, and to the students for giving such articulated reflections and comments through the video too.  Maybe this is something that could be rolled out on a wider level?

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Update from the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative

The Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative (SRMC) is a programme funded by the Scottish Government’s GP Recruitment and Retention Fund. The programme – chaired by Ralph Roberts (Chief Executive of NHS Shetland) – is about developing ways to improve the recruitment and retention of GPs working in a rural setting across ten Health Board areas in Scotland – Grampian, Highland, Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles, Dumfries & Galloway, Ayrshire & Arran, Fife, Tayside and Borders. Also involved are NES, NHS HR Directors, RCGP Scotland and Rural GP Association. They are now looking for assistance from the rural health community in Scotland……

The SRMC Programme Board have agreed that the programme will work in the six project areas outlined above and are looking for the following people to support this work:

  • A Programme Clinical Lead which will be funded 2 PAs (0.2 WTE) per week towards backfill for the post holder and will work across the whole Programme.
  • Project Leads for Project 2* (Rural GP Recruitment Yearly Wheel), Project 3* (Rural GP Marketing Resources) and Project 6* (Rural GP Recruitment Support). More details about these individual projects are available in Appendix 1 in the linked document below. They would be particularly interested to hear from HR Managers or Practice Managers.
  • Project Team Members for all projects. They would be particularly interested to hear from HR Managers or Practice Managers.

Please note your interest by Monday 22nd May 2017.

To find out more about these opportunities please contact either:

Download more information here (PDF)
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What happens when Deep End goes Rural?!

Many readers will be familiar with the Deep End project, originating in Glasgow but which has spread far and wide in describing the work of GPs working in areas of urban deprivation.  The original project brought together 100 general practices serving the most socio-economically deprived populations in Scotland.  The project team has carried out a fantastic amount of work to highlight the impact of inequalities on prevalence of medical conditions and access to healthcare.

So what happens when a Deep End GP (or a GP and GP trainee, to be precise!) travel out for some time in a remote island practice?  Dr Maria Duffy and Dr Elizabeth Dryden did exactly that, when they travelled to Benbecula to spend a week with rural GP Dr Kate Dawson… and produced this short video of their experience…

 

You can follow the Deep End project on Twitter – see below.

We look forward to the sequel!

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Setting the right path for Canadian rural practice

Thanks to Dr Douglas Deans for highlighting this recently-published report from a collaborative taskforce in Canada, which has been set up to identify positive actions that are likely to result in a more robust, sustainable and supported rural health service in Canada.  The collaboration comprises the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

The report is refreshingly succinct, relevant and pragmatic, and likely to be of interest to anyone who is trying to work out how to articulate the balance between effective action and strategic direction to influence national policies, in the context of conflicting and difficult policy decision-making.  Many rural GPs and educators will be familiar with the challenge of identifying realistic interventions which can translate into more sustainable recruitment and retention to rural communities, so this road map from Canada is likely to be a welcome read.

Recruiting and retaining family physicians in rural areas through financial incentives alone is not enough.  We need a coordinated and thoughtful alignment of education, practice policies, community involvement, and government support.  Family medicine residents who are educated in rural training sites, who immerse themselves in the communities and who see themselves supported by peers, specialists, health care providers, and evolving distance technologies, are more likely to choose rural and stay rural.

Dr Trina Larsen Soles – SRPC Co-Chair of Taskforce

News Release   Download the Report

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Applications due by 7th April for Scottish Rural GP Fellowships 2017

Just a reminder that the closing date for applications to the Rural Fellowship for 2017 close this Thursday, 6th April. See the links below for more information.

beafellow.ruralgp.com

NES Logo 2005Applications are now being invited for the GP Rural Fellowship Scheme, overseen by NHS Education for Scotland.

The Fellowships offer a fantastic opportunity to build skills and experience in rural general practice, whilst experiencing the challenges and opportunities first-hand – during a well-supported year which includes nine weeks of study leave and a generous study budget.

The Fellowships are located across rural Scotland, from Dumfries & Galloway, to the Shetland Isles, including islands such as Islay, Arran, Skye and the Uists.

Many previous rural fellows have stayed in rural practice, and an article was recently published in the Journal of Rural & Remote Health – highlighting the strengths and successes of the programme which has been running for over ten years.

Rural Fellowship Facebook Page     Rural Fellowship – Official Information

Closing date for applications: Thursday 6th April 2017

Fellowships (one year) commence in August 2017.

Watch the latest video about the Fellowships…

Current Rural Fellow Gemma Munro explains more about her time as a Rural Fellow.

Why be a rural GP?

NHS Highland made this video of rural practice in Kintyre…

 

… and here’s a video from last year featuring some of the current Fellows and others involved with the scheme…

Interested?  We want to hear from you…

All the Rural Fellowship sites will welcome you to chat on the phone or visit and tour round what’s on offer.  We can fix up a chat with current or previous rural fellows, and you can ask questions on our Facebook page.  There is a lot of information available from the websites mentioned already, but sometimes it’s easier to arrange a chat on the phone or Skype… all descriptors of the Fellowships (on the official fellowships page) have contact details where you can find out more.

A couple of years ago we interviewed some of those involved in running the Rural Fellowships.  Hear more from them about what they think the fellowships can offer recently qualified GPs…

Gill Clarke – Fellowships Co-ordinator

gillGill has been running the fellowship scheme now for three years.  I asked her about the opportunities available, and why she thinks the fellowship scheme is a good way to enable recently-qualified GPs to experience rural practice.

Gill is very happy to be contacted about any of the fellowship options.  gillian.clarke1@nhs.net


Angus MacTaggart – Islay Rural GP

angusAngus is one of two principals of Islay Medical Services, which now delivers primary health care across the island, as well as out of hours and hospital services.  He describes the attractions and challenges that he identifies with rural practice.

You can contact Angus at: Angus.mactaggart@nhs.net


Jonathan Hanson – Skye Rural Practitioner (Mackinnon Memorial Hospital)

jonathanJonathan has trained in a multitude of specialties, and has found his ‘perfect’ job requiring constant generalism.  He represents the growing number of ‘acute rural GPs’ who provide hospital-based services as well as out-of-hours GP cover.  With additional strings to his bow such as anaesthetics, the services provided in Broadford mean that patients can frequently be treated locally, instead of facing long journeys to secondary care.

The contact for the Skye Fellowships is now Melanie Meecham: melanie.meecham@nhs.net


Fiona Duff – Primary Care Manager for Caithness & Sutherland (NHS Highland)

fionaFiona oversees GP services to the North of Scotland, which covers a wide geographical area.  Two fellowships are available in this area.  In this interview, Fiona highlights why a move to Sutherland could be a great career move to aspiring rural GPs.

Apologies for the phone interference in this interview, hopefully it is not too distracting!  You can email Fiona at: fiona.duff@nhs.net

 

 

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#RuralGPframed – bringing rural healthcare into focus

Check the end of this article for tweets and images that have been posted online since the hashtag went live… and you can also now view most of the photos from the #ruralGPframed series at gallery.ruralGP.com too

Image from W Eugene Smith’s “A Country Doctor”.  LIFE Magazine, 1948.

the best camera is the one you have with you

1948 saw the beginning of the National Health Service in the UK.  Many of its principles were based on the development of the Highlands & Islands (Scotland) Medical Service which was launched in 1913 following the publication of the Dewar Report into the challenges of rural healthcare in Scotland – and many consider the Dewar Report to be the blueprint of today’s NHS.

1948 was also a key moment in photojournalism, when LIFE Magazine featured the photography of W Eugene Smith. His photoessay of the work of Colorado country doctor Ernest Ceriani became a benchmark for photojournalism, and remains an iconic reference in the power of photography to provide perspective and insight. A YouTube presentation of the article is available too.

Since then, photography and photojournalism has evolved significantly.   Nearly everyone now has a quality camera-phone in their pocket.  The development of digital photography has resulted in the limits of photography being confined only to battery power, memory card space, and creativity.

Dr Greg Hamill (Arran GP) and Dr Stephen Hearns (Consultant, Emergency Medical Retrieval Service) work together using ultrasound-guided vascular access in an acutely unwell patient. (Patient consent obtained).  iPhone; 2017.

And yet, some would argue that this has had the effect of devaluing the art of good photography.  Paradoxically, because photography is within such easy reach, we sometimes fail to document episodes of experience – either as we assume someone else will be, or the immediacy of image capture devalues the art of composition, style and creative depiction.  And because so many images are produced (Facebook estimates that over 300 million photos are uploaded to its website every day), it is likely that great images fail to get the recognition and prominence that they deserve.

In just over a month’s time, I will be running a ‘Practical Tips’ session at the Rural WONCA conference in Cairns, Australia – on The Visible Rural GP: developing an image bank for modern rural practice.  The idea for this evolved through a personal interest in photography and its journalistic role, an interest in ‘how do we represent rural practice to potential rural GPs’ and awareness of projects such as  Document Scotland – just one inspirational project that aims to “photograph the important and diverse stories within Scotland at one of the most important times in our nation’s history”.

A tick that I removed from a patient who presented to our Arran War Memorial Hospital one summer weekend oncall. (Assumed consent from tick).  Canon 60D, with reversed 50mm; August 2016.

Perhaps we should be considering the need for presenting inspiring, accurate visual representations of rural practice today.

And so today, in the run-up to Rural WONCA 2017, I am committing to share (via Twitter, using the hashtag #RuralGPframed) at least one photo per day, from my own images, that depicts an aspect of rural practice.

I would be delighted for others to join me.  The more images that we can collect and share, to represent the stimulation, challenge and professional satisfaction of rural practice, the more insight that others – including potential rural GPs – will have into the opportunities that rural practice can offer.

Dr Kate Dawson (GP, Benbecula) and Dr Charlie Siderfin (GP, Orkney) during a valuable opportunity to get together and discuss research opportunities in rural practice.  Fujifilm XT1; January 2017.

What about video?

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ but video often allows a narrative and mood to be more easily captured.  Video is important, and submissions of video are welcomed to this project.

Please remember, explicit consent is required for any footage featuring patients or anything related to them. Creativity  is welcomed!

#RuralGPframed

(search Twitter)

4/4/17 Update

Within 24 hours of this post going live, we’ve had an amazing amount of coverage across the world, particularly our Australian confreres.  Keep them coming!  Here’s just a few of the tweets that we’ve picked up on the hashtag…

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