There seems to be two types of Scottish GP at the moment, those who are doing Practice Based Small Group Learning and those who are likely to be soon. The initiative, supported by NES (NHS Education for Scotland) involves small groups of GPs, Registrars and Practice Nurses getting together to do some scenario-based learning, on topics as diverse as “Family Physician Stress” to “Chronic Kidney Disease” to “ADHD”.
The idea was brought across from McMaster University, where our Canadian GP colleagues have been using this style of learning for some time. They’ve developed a vast range of scenario-based modules, and from humble beginnings, there are now waves of Scottish GPs signing up to be involved. Importantly, more and more of the Canadian-written modules are being “tartanised”, so that acetaminophen reads paracetamol, and the dynamics of Scottish/UK general practice are more accurately portrayed in the cases for discussion.
I recently attended Facilitator Training for the PBSGL programme, and came away enthused and keen to promote the idea to others. There has been a particularly strong appetite for PBSGL in the North Scotland, and consequently several groups of rural practitioners have set up virtual groups. These been held by using teleconference, Skype and other online services, with varied degrees of success. Of course, half the fun of taking part in PBSGL is meeting colleagues face-to-face: this is best done by physical meetings but for some rural practitioners this isn’t possible. For these situations, there is huge potential to enable rural practitioners to link up (including via occasional physical meetings too), to allow collaborative practice and reduce the professional isolation that so often faces colleages in these areas.
If you work in Scotland and are keen to find out more, have a look at the PBSGL website or contact PBSGLAdministrator.North_PO.SCPMDE@nes.scot.nhs.uk. There is likely to be a group near you, and if not, you may wish to set up your own group after a bit of facilitator training (which I can vouch is interesting, fun and not intimidating). If you’re elsewhere in the UK – watch this space, as it may well be coming your direction sometime in the future
Finally, if you’re interested in taking part in virtual meetings – for which you’ll need a microphone & speakers (preferably as a headset) plus webcam – please get in touch with us here at RuralGP Blog so that we can keep you updated with progress.