By Dr Simon Thornton, GP Engagement Lead, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol (left) and Professor Trevor Thompson, GP and Head of Primary Care Teaching, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol (right)
For the last two years the teaching arm of the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) have been doing something a little different when it comes to Continuing Professional Development (CPD): a Teaching Festival, a day of activities that aims to celebrate and entertain as well inform and train.
This year our destination was Clevedon Hall, a stone’s throw from the marine lake on the shore at Clevedon. On display throughout the day was a collection of artwork produced by our medical students as well as photography by a local GP, Dr Jon Rees. The grounds are an absolute delight as was our programme of … Read more
The prevalence of antibiotic use in modern society is well established. Antibiotics have revolutionised medicine and how society sees – and deals with – disease. Along with concerns regarding the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, thought to be exacerbated by their over-use in many areas, there is a need to understand the history of their adoption and use, especially in primary care. Comprehending the many-tendrilled circumstances and behaviours that led to this point might help to inform future choices, and give some insight into future best practice.
Over a third of all pregnancies in women over 40 result in therapeutic abortion. This is one of the highest rates of abortion compared to live births in any age group. This suggests an unmet need for contraception. I interviewed women over 40 about their views and experience with contraception to find out more.
“I couldn’t do another child”
Previous studies have attributed the relatively low use of reliable contraception in women over 40 to women’s perceptions of themselves as low risk of pregnancy. However, participants in this study felt pregnancy was a real possibility and that an unplanned pregnancy would have a significant negative impact on their lives. Some had completed their families or had other caring responsibilities. While others knew they did not want any children and did not want to … Read more
Serious illness and bereavement affect us all, but our experiences of them are not equal. People living in the poorest areas of the UK are less likely to get the care and support they need if they become seriously ill or a loved one dies. They are also more likely to be socially isolated and lonely – which can be made even worse by serious illness or bereavement.
“I think everyone’s been in the situation where they go to a doctor to talk about something that they find hard to talk about or they might find it difficult to voice their concerns.”
“I just couldn’t get a word in edgewise, sometimes you find you’ve just arrived and the GP is writing the prescription you know?”
These are some of the things patients said to us when we interviewed them for the Consultation Open and Close (COAC) study. Patients felt that, in the 10-minute consultation, particularly when it was by telephone, the GP did not always have time to get to the root of their problems.
Five years ago, when I felt unwell with a pain on one side of my body, I assumed I had a virus. Only after a week, when a rash appeared in the same place, did I think that I might have shingles. I was in good health and never thought shingles was something that I was at risk of. But I now know that anyone can get it.
After getting chicken pox, the virus lurks in your nervous system and can reappear as shingles without warning at any time and the risk of this increases with age. The painful, blistering rash was bad enough, but I didn’t know that shingles can have a nasty after-effect, causing a type of nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN for … Read more
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” Dame Cicely Saunders
Many people express a wish to die at home. The proportion of deaths that occurred in the community (including private homes and care homes) rose significantly during the pandemic and has been sustained. As a consequence, the need to fund and improve our community palliative care services has never been more important. Earlier this year, this was recognised by a change in the Health and Social Care Bill to fund palliative care services in all areas. This will hopefully remove the postcode lottery that currently exists in the UK for … Read more
World Heart Day on 29 September 2022 aims to inform people that cardiovascular disease, including heart failure and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 18.6 million lives each year. It also aims to highlight the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control heart disease. Alyson Huntley describes how researchers at the Centre for Academic Primary Care are refocusing priorities to ensure that the needs of people living with heart failure are at the centre of their work.
We aim to put people with heart failure at the centre of our research. A recent collaborative project with other universities highlighted the unmet needs of people living with heart failure. The priority setting process brought clinicians, patients and families/carers together on an equal footing to … Read more
As a student usually peering at fossils of primordial apes, I was surprised to receive an email advertising two paid summer internships in primary care research. The email emphasised that both internships were accepting of students from a variety of disciplines (including geography, biology, sociology, and social policy) in addition to medicine. Experience in qualitative research was required for both projects, but as I (like many others), was already carrying out research for my dissertation, the internship felt tailor-made for a third-year anthropologist wishing to step into the medical world. After reading the email, I hastily applied to one of the projects. A few weeks later, I was interviewed and hired by my project supervisor. After the interview, I learned that 24 students applied for the project, and that seven were shortlisted for interview.
I have an ongoing interest in how industry and academia can work together to produce really good evidence-led products that can be accessible for the target users, and have more longevity than those produced in purely academic settings.
From experience, when we produce digital interventions in our academic bubble, they are brilliantly researched, but often not maintained in the long-term, meaning they disappear soon after the research funding stops. Or we do not have enough budget to develop something that people are going to want to use.
While exploring how academia and industry can come together to reduce inequalities in access to good quality healthcare, I discovered ZINC. ZINC runs mission-led programmes with people from across disciplines to build commercial solutions to solve some of the most pressing societal issues. I … Read more