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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Reflections on SAPC 2015: From the perspective of Keele researchers

By Catherine Hyde (GP Research Fellow), Gemma Mansell (Research Associate) & Ben Saunders (Research Associate)

Researchers from the Institute of Primary Care & Health Sciences (IPCHS) at Keele University flocked to the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, this year held in the beautiful city of Oxford, hosted at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. This meeting brings together around 450 researchers and clinicians at the forefront of primary care research in the UK to discuss and present on a wide range of topics. Keele was, as ever, strongly represented: as well as presenting oral and poster presentations, we were also involved in chairing and judging presentation sessions, leading special interest groups and supporting colleagues. Nineteen Keele researchers presented studies, with their research teams aiming to answer research questions on a wide range of topics and with expertise in different methodologies, including:

Val Tan,
GP Research Fellow - Developing and testing the ENHANCE intervention

                                        Arani Vivekanantham,

                           Student Doctor studying for MPhil

Steven Blackburn,
Research Associate in PPI - Survey of researchers

Highlights included NIHR Professor Nadine Foster giving a presentation of distinction about the SUPPORT trial, a randomised controlled trial that compares different ways of treating shoulder pain. The quality of our research was met with high praise from other SAPC attendees.

A key moment not just for Keele, but for the conference as a whole, was our own Professor of General Practice Research, Carolyn Chew-Graham delivering the 2nd Helen Lester memorial lecture. This public lecture is held in memory of the contributions that GP and academic Helen Lester made to primary care research, particularly within the area of mental health. Carolyn gave a thought-provoking lecture entitled “Making a difference for people with mental health problems”. We had insight into the inspirations behind her research into primary care consultations and mental health, such as a current qualitative study talking with GPs on how they deal with patients bereaved by suicide which has informed training for GPs, and Carolyn’s aspirations for the future.

SAPC always delivers a jam-packed programme, which includes not only research presentations but also social events to encourage discussions and collaborations in a more relaxed environment. The conference dinner in Keble College’s Great Hall was a high-point, followed by dancing – again Keele were finely represented!

All in all, SAPC provides a fantastic platform for showcasing the world-leading research carried out at Keele to a primary care audience and we highly recommend this friendly, fun and inspiring conference.