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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Networking, collaboration, and supporting promising new researchers: the 2015 RCGP annual conference, Glasgow

By Carolyn Chew-Graham
Professor of General Practice Research, IPCHS, Keele University

Sunshine greeted us at the start of the annual conference of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in Glasgow on 1st October. 

A packed audience greeted Prof Maureen Baker, Chair of Council, who gave a robust defence of the NHS and an equally strong attack on the Health Secretary, emphasising the crises over junior doctors’ hours and recruitment shortfalls in general practice.

With time allocated to view over 400 posters in the main hall, there were ample opportunities to bump into friends and colleagues to discuss posters of interest, catch up on old times and sit down for a cuppa.

I was particularly proud of Mirella Fry - a medical student completing her SSC with me. Mirella presented a secondary analysis of the HoldFAST data (thanks to Sarah McLachlan and Tom Sanders for their support with this project). 

A poster reporting barriers to care for street-based prostitutes was also well received. The data were collected in Manchester by an Academic Foundation doctor in 2012, and the analysis was conducted by a team including Anna, my daughter. A photo of the poster was on Facebook and Twitter as soon as I spotted it.

Neal Maskrey (Prof of Evidence-based Decision-making, here at Keele), Jill Rasmussen (RCGP Clinical Lead for Dementia) and I collaborated on a symposium on the challenges of managing an increasingly multi-morbid population, which provoked stimulating discussion and debate well after the session was timetabled to end.

Joanne Reeve (Associate Professor of General Practice in Warwick), Liz England (GP and MH Commissioner in Birmingham), Lucy Cooper (Researcher, Liverpool) and I collaborated, on behalf of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) and RCGP, to present a symposium entitled ‘Thinking differently about mental health consultations’. We had submitted this as a workshop, and discovered two weeks before the conference that we were presenting in the main hall. Using role-play, we were able to demonstrate three styles of consulting, introducing the audience to the ‘Bounce-Back model’ (Jo) and ‘Behavioural Activation’ (me). This symposium generated discussion in the hall, and on twitter, and an agreement that the team will put together some resources for the RCGP and SAPC websites.

The sunset on Friday evening was glorious, marred only by the disaster of broken glasses.

Posted on behalf of Carolyn Chew-Graham, Professor of General Practice Research, IPCHS, Keele University

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