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RGPAS18 Conference Registration now open

Click to visit www.RuralGP.scot

The Rural GP Association of Scotland (RGPAS) is pleased to announce that registration for its annual conference is now open, following a period of priority booking for its members.

This year’s conference will take place on 8-10 November 2018, once again at our preferred venue of The Craigmonie Hotel in Inverness.

The programme will commence at 1pm on Thursday 8th November, and finish at lunchtime on Saturday 10th November.  This year will feature discussion, presentations and debate about the impact of the new Scottish GP contract on rural healthcare, as well as a number of clinical updates and opportunities for participants to catch up and relax.

As with previous years, there will be a strong focus on the conference being welcoming and convivial.  Many of our members (and non-members) come from remote and isolated practices, and RGPAS conferences place a strong emphasis on fostering informal peer support opportunities.

Unfortunately, this year we have had to curtail our usual undergraduate activity, as already highlighted in this article.  We very much regret that we cannot run the scholarships this year, but we’ve been so busy working out how to represent the concerns of our members and rural communities in relation to the new contract, that the committee don’t have the capacity this year to organise this aspect.  We very much hope that it will return in future years.

The cost of the conference is £130, and this includes a 3-course conference dinner with wine on the Thursday evening.  Accommodation can be booked directly with the Craigmonie Hotel.

What’s in the programme?

Programme details are still to be confirmed.  We are in the process of finalising speakers and the schedule, and this will be published here and notified to our members.  We are aiming for a relevant and useful mix of topics and speakers, to inform and re-energise participants – but also to reflect the anxieties and concerns of RGPAS members about the impact of the new GP Contract on rural communities, and consider effective ways forward.  We’re pleased to confirm that Prof Sir Lewis Ritchie (Chair of the Rural Short Life Working Group formed by the Scottish Government to consider implementation of the GP contract) and Dr Andrew Buist (Chair, Scottish GP Committee) will be attending.  We will also have updates from the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative, management of blood-borne viruses and consideration of how to recognise and maximise the delivery of Realistic Medicine in rural settings.

We hope that the conference will showcase the ongoing innovation and potential that exists across rural Scotland, and the need for national health policy to be appropriately rural-proofed to ensure sustainability for the future of Scottish rural healthcare.

Register for RGPAS18
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RGPAS Conference 2018 update

Our conference is set to go ahead on the 8-10 November 2018, in Inverness at the Craigmonie Hotel.

HOWEVER, we have regretfully had to make changes to the usual format, and we are not able to run the student scholarship scheme that has been a successful and vibrant component of past RGPAS conferences.

The RGPAS Committee has reflected on the current challenges to rural practice in Scotland.  Implementation of the new GP contract has created much extra work, anxiety and uncertainty amongst our members.  As a result, we aim to offer a programme focussing on pragmatic support and guidance to our members.

Our members and committee are busy rural GPs, and we have been stretched further by the implementation of a non-rural-proofed GP contract.  We believe that this has devalued and threatened many of the existing services and skills provided to Scotland’s communities by GP-led practice teams.  We need to consider our strategic response as an organisation and as individual members.

Booking details will be provided as soon as possible.

Click to download the report (2.6MB)

We intend to provide more detail on our current concerns in the next few weeks, including our perspective on progress with initiatives such as the rural Short Life Working Group.  Our summary document ‘Looking at the Right Map?’ remains our reference point for our ongoing concerns about the new contract.  There have, however, been additional concerns raised since that publication including:

  • the feasibility of rural multidisciplinary teams and pharmacy support
  • recognition of the workload created by seasonal spikes of temporary residents
  • the sustainability of additional services offered by rural practices
  • the safety and efficacy of the proposed vaccinations programme, which is to be provided by health boards
  • the effect of the new contract on capacity for undergraduate teaching
  • the effect of the contract on GP recruitment and retention in rural areas

In the meantime, we apologise in particular to the many students who have already contacted us with an interest in rural practice, and hope that we can offer our student scholarships again next year.

Further reading…

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GURRMS18 conference a massive success in Portree

Last week we highlighted the programme for the GURRMS (Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society) conference in Portree.  Over 80 students and delegates attended this event last weekend, and as expected, it was a superbly positive event that covered many aspects of rural practice in Scotland and beyond.

James McHugh, GURRMS President

It must be highlighted once again, that tickets for this event sold out within 15 minutes of becoming available online.  Behind the conference was a ton of work, ably overseen by GURRMS President and final year Glasgow medical student, James McHugh – who compered the activities along with his committee with aplomb, tight organisation and enthusiasm.

A good line up of varied speakers featured on the first day of the conference.  Dr Emma Watson opened the conference, and after this I gave a presentation on ‘Rural GP – Is it What It’s Cracked Up to Be’ – with an honest portrayal of opportunities and challenges that exist within a career of rural practice.  I used some of my own stories to highlight the privilege that many of us feel in being able to provide primary care (along with all the additional services of rural practice) to our communities, along with the breadth of practice that keeps days interesting, challenging and demanding of effective teamwork.  We touched upon some of the current challenges of getting health policy adequately rural-proofed, and reflected that this is a worldwide challenge – which makes for truly international career opportunities.

This was followed by Dr Luke Regan talking about ‘Why I Love My Job and You Should Too’ – he is an Emergency Physician at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with experience of delivering rural emergency care both in Scotland and Australia. His talk included a simulated walk-through of a rural cardiac emergency, ably assisted by student ‘volunteers’ from the audience.

Prof Phil Wilson explored the research and academic opportunities available to rural GPs, and considered the ethical obligation on us all to appraise and share lessons learned from service and therapeutic innovations.

Phil Wilson on Scottish trials to use transcranial ultrasound to diagnose thrombolysable stroke

Dr Jacqueline Bennebroek then offered an insight into her work as a Rural Practitioner at the MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford, Skye.

Jacqueline on her role as a Rural Practitioner on Skye

Ben Price on the role of BASICS Scotland and emergency responders across rural Scotland.

Workshops were run on ‘The Lesser Spotted BASICS Responder’ by Dr Ben Price, and a Training Perspective of Rural Practice by Dr Ian Pooleman and Dr Ailsa Leslie.  Three well-delivered presentations in Pecha Kucha style featured from Duncan Stewart, Isla Kempe and Ellen Gardner on their student experiences, from elective placements to reflections on being a student on the new Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship now offered to Dundee 4th year students. The verdict – a big dose of reassurance that LICs offer a fantastic environment for learning medicine, and the fears about having gaps in knowledge did not materialise.  Indeed this has been shown in repeated reviews of LIC learning that students conclude their LIC placements with greater knowledge, insight and propensity to pass exams.

Rural surgical legend Dr David Sedgwick talked about his Life and Work as a Rural Surgeon over 25 years – most of which was at the Belford Hospital in Fort William.  The fact that David had just arrived back from teaching in Rwanda the previous day was particularly impressive, and highlighted again the role that rural doctors and surgeons can have in global healthcare.

Prof Sarah Strasser during one of the student workshops

The keynote talk ‘Rural Health Worldwide’ was delivered by rural health stalwarts Prof Roger Strasser and Prof Sarah Strasser.  They had travelled into Scotland the previous day, covering even more impressive mileage than David Sedgwick… it is perhaps testament to the GURRMS committee that they facilitated such experienced input, and that Roger and Sarah were willing to travel from Canada and Australia respectively to make it to Portree.  Their talk was followed by a particularly engaging question and answer session, and it was clear that delegates were inspired and enthused by the perspectives that Roger and Sarah brought to the conference.

10 Skills of a Rural Doctor – from talk by Roger and Sarah Strasser

The day concluded with an evening reception including ceilidh.  The next day GURRMS successfully ferried delegates across north west Scotland – with some walking in nearby scenery, some opting for whisky tasting, some going for mountain rescue training and some travelling to the Western Isles for a 2 day trip to see the hospital in Stornoway and the surrounding area.

Well done once again to the GURRMS Committee for a well-organised, good-natured and inspiring conference.  We hope to see plans develop for GURRMS19 next year – and we hope that the Scottish rural GP community will support the event once again.

More photos below…

 

 

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BASICS Scotland Adult Tele-education Course Starts 16th April 2018

BASICS Scotland would like to announce the dates for the next Adult Tele-education Course, presented by Karyn Webster. This 10 week course will start on Monday the 16th April and run for 10 weeks with a 1-week break in June.

Tele-education by BASICS Scotland is an online learning resource ideal for remote and rural practitioners eager to reinforce and develop their skills in pre-hospital emergency care. The benefit of Tele-education is that participants can take part without having to leave their home or place of work. The course is delivered entirely over the web, with weekly 1-hour live sessions in a video conferencing format which participants can attend or view the recordings later at a time more convenient for them!

Topics on this course include:

  • Assessment Airway & ENT
  • Asthma
  • Breathlessness (LRTI/LVF)
  • Chest Pain & Thrombolysis
  • Allergy & Anaphylaxis
  • Stroke & TIA
  • Head Injury
  • Seizures
  • Wounds, Burns & Tetanus
  • Pain Relief

If you are interested in taking part in this course or would like more information head over to the BASICS Scotland website and complete an application form today!

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GURRMS student conference in Portree this Friday

The Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society will hold their conference this Friday and Saturday in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

This follows a highly successful conference held by GURRMS last year on the Isle of Islay, successfully bringing together a large number of medical students from Scotland and beyond, to hear about rural practice, share thoughts and experiences, and gain a better perspective of career options for the future.

Quite incredibly, tickets were sold out for GURRMS18 within 15 minutes of them becoming available online.  Perhaps it is not so surprising, given the varied and experienced line-up of speakers they have secured for the event, along with activities both medical and social.  The blend of social and educational activities provided at GURRMS17 has also established a positive and attractive precedent for GURRMS too.

You can read through the GURRMS conference programme – just released today – from this link.  Highlights include Dr Ben Price talking about BASICS Scotland activity, Dr Luke Regan discussing ‘Why I Love My Job and You Should Too’, and Prof Phil Wilson on ‘Why Rural Doctors Need to do Research’.  I am delighted to have been asked to speak too, and will be asking ‘Rural GP – Is it what it’s Cracked Up To Be?’.

The Keynote Talk is being delivered by Profs Roger and Sarah Strasser – who are travellig from Canada and Australia as I type, to inspire the GURRMS18 students with their advice and experience from developing innovative rural health education… and the international opportunities that come with rural practice.

The conference has been supported by a number of organisations, including RGPAS, but much of the credit must fall to James and his committee of Josie, Seb, Michael, Eloise and John for all their work to bring this together.

Many students in Scotland have very little exposure to rural medicine, despite almost half of the population living in such an area. The aim of this conference is to promote this career as a viable option and to encourage those interested to go and explore what there is to offer! Here on Skye, we hope you have an authentic experience and truly get to see what rural medicine is.

My own journey was started with an elective on Arran where I learned first-hand how this path is right for me, so we hope that we can give you a glimpse of that with what will be a stimulating programme. We encourage you to get involved in discussions and make the most of the experts here, who have a wealth of experience!

James McHugh, President of GURRMS

Well done to GURRMS for putting on this event, juggling all the logistics (whilst some were sitting final exams) and providing such a brilliant showcase for Scottish and international rural health.  We might even celebrate with a Skye dram or two!

You can follow the conference on Twitter using the #GURRMS18 and #thinkrural hashtags.

Download the #GURRMS18 programme

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Mayara Floss: the challenges for women working in rural health

Mayara Floss

This video of Dr Mayara Floss – rural doctor in Brazil and passionate advocate for international rural health – has recently been publicised via the Rural WONCA email list by Dr John Wynn Jones, chair of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Health.

Mayara was invited to give her perspective on the issue of “Investing in rural health workers for the economic participation and empowerment of rural women and girls” at a meeting of the joint Commission on the Status of Women: a side-event of the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and Women in Global Health.

John introduced the video more eloquently than I could, and so with his permission, here’s what he said:

Dear All

I want to congratulate Mayara and thank her on behalf of Rural Wonca and all the rural health workers around the world for her presentation and wise words at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Mayara is an exceptional person. I can’t even call her a future leader because despite the fact that this is her first year as a doctor she is already a world leader and an example to us all. It will be the Mayara’s of this world who will take up the mantle for the next generation and its our duty to support them.

Please look at the video of her session. She describes how medical schools in the largely rural country of Brazil do little to promote and teach rural health care. She eloquently describes her own journey against the odds and her quest to work among rural communities and the barriers that she encountered. Everyone needs to watch her presentation! 

During the panel session she implores us first to listen to our patients and are communities before coming up with ” so called helpfull solutions”.

She also asks us to think about the political tragedy that is happening in Brazil and the dismantling of one of the most enlightened primary care systems in the world and its replacement with private health.

We are all very proud of her and the many other members of Rural Seeds who are working so hard around the world to build their careers and make a difference for rural communities.

Kind regards

John

Mayara speaks in the video below for 20 minutes, at 30 minutes in, and there are subsequent (excellent!) contributions to the discussion thereafter.

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Applications invited now for Scottish Rural GP Fellowships 2018

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 this article published in the Journal of Rural & Remote Health highlights 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: Wednesday 11th April 2018

Fellowships (one year) commence in August 2018.

Watch the latest video about the Fellowships…

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

Why be a rural GP?

This video, as part of the RCGP #ThinkGP project, featured the range of rural GP duties on the Isle of Arran.

 

… and here’s a video from 2016 featuring some of the 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 the Fellowship 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 several 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


 

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Louise Polson publishes in RRH about student placement in Shetland

Louise Polson, medical student at Glasgow University, has written about her student rural medicine placement in Remote & Rural Health.

She writes…

This placement also provided the opportunity to research and write this essay, which gave me a much deeper understanding of how emergency care is provided in remote areas and allowed me to consider how care could be improved for future patients. I believe key areas for improvement include increasing links with medical schools to provide more student placements, possibly through publicising positive testimonies from students who have already been (such as myself), and also improving recruitment and retention of staff through increased access to further training opportunities.

Congratulations Louise!  We are particularly pleased to see this published, as Louise joined us in 2015 when she received an RGPAS Student Scholarship to attend our annual conference.

Read the full article here: https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/3824#cite_2

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19th March 2018: Next BASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

basics_logo_new_large_csBASICS Scotland Clinical Governance Meeting

The next Clinical Governance Meeting will take place on Monday 19th March 2018 at 7.00pm.

We are still looking for any interesting cases out there to discuss. Do you have something? If so contact us on clinicalgovernance@basics-scotland.org.uk with details.

The meeting summary and supporting documents are now available on the members website for the meeting held in January.

Clinical Governance Meetings are available for free to any Member of BASICS Scotland wishing to attend and they count towards your CPD. These meetings contain interesting case presentations from various BASICS Responders and other pre-hospital professionals and are streamed live via Adobe Connect with a recording made available on the Members site.

If you haven’t attended one of our CGM’s before and would like to attend please contact us at support@basics-scotland.org.uk and we will set you up with an Adobe Connect account for accessing the meeting.

Invitations containing the link to access the meeting room will be sent out 2 days prior to the date of the meeting.

 

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NES Annual Educational Awards – nominations invited

Nominations are now invited for the annual NES Education Awards.  With so much quality medical education being delivered across rural Scotland, we would encourage readers to consider whether they can nominate individuals or teams for these awards…

The 5th annual NES Medical Directorate Awards for 2018 is to recognise outstanding contributions to the quality of medical education and training in Scotland. Significant numbers of our undergraduate students excel in national competitions and awards, those who graduate from Scottish Medical Schools rank very highly in Foundation Programme selection processes and many of our postgraduate training programmes rank 1st, 2nd or 3rd in league tables of the 20 UK Deanery/LETBs for “overall satisfaction”.  Due to the current nature of regulatory monitoring, often the focus of quality management processes is on areas of medical education and training that require development, however it is known that many aspects are excellent and deserve recognition.

A core group including representation from the Postgraduate Deans, GP Directors, STB Chairs, Scottish Deans Medical Education Group, Scottish Foundation School, NES General Management, Directors of Medical Education and trainees currently oversee this initiative. Awards will be made at the congress dinner during the 8th Annual Scottish Medical Education Conference on Thursday 26 April 2018.

Award Categories

  1. Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education
  2. Award for Scholarship
  3. Award for Process Development and Implementation
  4. Award for Innovation in Training
  5. Team of the Year Award
  6. Award for Staff Support
  7. Award for an Outstanding Role Model
  8. Award for Excellence in Facilitating Transitions in Medical Education & Training

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations can be submitted by following the enclosed Questback link :
  2. The CLOSING DATE for submissions is Friday 16 March 2018.
  3. The nomination statement must indicate the award category, will typically be around 500 words but no more than 750 words in length, take the form of a narrative, and must specifically address the criteria, highlighting why the nominee is deserving of the award.
  4. The nomination statement may be supplemented by a curriculum vitae and up to three supporting materials (if appropriate). These can include: supporting testimonials, documents containing statistics, supporting research, evaluation or inspection reports, press cuttings and promotional material and should be submitted separately to Medical_Awards@nes.scot.nhs.uk
  5. Any queries should be sent to Medical_Awards@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Award Ceremony

Each category winner will be presented with a commemorative certificate at the congress dinner on Thursday 26 April 2018.

Download NES Education Awards Nomination Advice
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