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GPARTs 2019 Start



Pursuing flourishing General Practice: understanding the pressures affecting Practices at the ‘coal face’

Dr Richard Dillon

Academic Supervisors: Dr Grainne Kearney & Prof Michael Donnelly

Clinical Supervisor: Neil Stockman at Regency Medical Practice, Newtownards

Summary of Project

My project aims to look at the current pressures within general practice. There has been unprecedented demand in Primary Care in recent times. Over the last 4years, there has been a reduction in the number of GP surgeries. This is either through closures or mergers. A BMA report identified several different factors that may play a part. Since then a number of things have changed (MDT involvement with Physios, Social workers etc and the increased use of telephone triage). My research is focused on reviewing the survey previously carried and trying to identify what factors would help to generate flourishing primary care.


In situ simulation for Paediatric Emergencies in Primary Care

Dr Sarah O’Hare

Academic Supervisors: Professor Gerry Gormley

Clinical Supervisor: Dr Paul Carlisle, Hillhead Family Practice, Belfast

Summary of Project

I am completing a project on the use of in situ simulation training in managing paediatric emergencies in general practice. A wide range of emergencies may present including anaphylaxis, and meningitis. Paediatric emergencies pose a particular challenge, as treating children requires specific knowledge, skills and equipment.

Existing evidence shows that in-situ simulation training is an acceptable and feasible way of developing interprofessional skills in primary care settings. The aim of this research is to investigate the use of simulation to improve preparedness to manage paediatric emergencies in primary care.

I am currently completing a literature review, to establish what is known about how in-situ simulation achieves its outcomes. I will develop and implement a programme of in-situ simulation relating to primary care paediatric emergencies. Using participatory research methodology, supported by multimodal evaluation using video, field notes and interview data, I will explore its effects on learning and organisational change.


Moving More: How can we reduce sedentary behaviour in Primary Care?

Dr Richard Mayne

Academic Supervisors: Dr Neil Heron & Dr Nigel Hart

Clinical Supervisor: Dr David Moore at Struell Surgery in Downpatrick

Summary of Project

Sedentary time (assessed as either daily overall sedentary time, sitting time, television or screen time, or leisure time spent sitting) is independently associated with a greater risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality, cancer incidence or mortality (breast, colon, colorectal, endometrial, and epithelial ovarian), and type 2 diabetes in adults.

Reducing sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity in the Primary Care setting could lead to extensive benefits at an individual and population level. Potential individual-level benefits include improved physical and mental health (reducing workplace absenteeism and early retirement) and improved workplace satisfaction. This could lead to population level benefits, whereby General Practitioners subsequently encourage patients, colleagues, relatives, friends and family to reduce their sedentary behaviour and increase their levels of physical activity. Doctors who follow healthier lifestyles are more likely to advise patients on improving their own health behaviours. Patients are also more likely to act on health behaviour guidance if the doctor giving the guidance is seen to follow the guidance within their own life. Patients who act on guidance to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity will gain improved physical and mental health, making them more likely to advise their colleagues, relatives, friends and family to reduce their sedentary behaviour and increase their levels of physical activity.


Social Prescribing in Primary Care

Dr Katherine McCracken

Academic Supervisors: Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan & Dr Helen Reid

Clinical Supervisor: Dr Adrian Johnston, Toome Surgery, Toome

Summary of Project

Social prescribing is being widely advocated as a tool to help address patients’ complex health and social care needs. Social prescribing refers to linking patients with sources of support in the community. It seeks to address patients’ needs in a holistic way and empower individuals to take greater control of their health. Social prescribing is a key component of the NHS Long Term Plan and one of the ten high impact actions to release time for care in the NHS General Practice Forward View. A stronger evidence base is required to support continued interest and innovation in social prescribing. I will start with a scoping review which will guide my empirical work. I will potentially use qualitative interview approaches to examine the perceptions of healthcare professionals regarding social prescribing.