Thursday, February 01, 2018

Our Community Based Medical Education Continues

We have just finished marking the December RESS Year 2/3 Student Selected Project reflective diaries and from our moderation meeting you get to see the fantastic range of SSP choices on offer to the medical students such as one on Music and Arts in Medical Education. The 31 Community Options that I marked were generally of a very good standard and feedback from all of the parties involved was very positive. Our IDEALS 2 Inclusion Health - Valuing Diversity workshops in January also went really well and I passed on the students' ideas from a case study in my Working Class Doctors workshop to our Widening Participation Team for consideration and action! I was very proud that our School hosted the January national meeting of the Diversity in Medicine and Health (DIMAH) group and the session went really well plus people were able to get away before the snow arrived! It could be a very exciting new year for DIMAH as they elect a new Chair with a new vision and I think we should all acknowledge the excellent and pioneering work carried out by the retiring Chair, Professor Nisha Dogra, over many years. Our School is a member of DIMAH and we will continue to support this valuable work with our involvement and see their website at: I am also giving Year 1 & 2 students feedback on their small group community visits whilst at Primary Care (as part of Campus to Clinic) and it is wonderful to read about their diverse range of community visits which will hopefully help the medical students to think more holistically about healthcare. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . . Former USA Gymnastics team doctor sentenced for abusing hundreds of girl athletes. . Use paracetamol for most acute sore throats, says NICE. . Government postpones first Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) to allow further consultation. . Alcohol labels should include information on calorie content, public health doctors say. . "No deal" Brexit would threaten access to new drugs, Hunt warns. . NHS care has worsened over the past decade, doctors warn. . Drug shortages derail CCGs budgets. . Government is not doing enough to improve children's health, paediatricians warn. . NHS England faces legal challenge over proposed changes to services. . Money to transform NHS services is diverted to reducing deficits, watchdog finds. . Public will have to pay £220b for PFI until 2040 NAO calculates. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Marking and a New Term Begins!

Over the next two weeks I will be marking the 31 student reflective diaries and community newsletter pieces from our recent RESS Pre-Xmas Student Selected Projects placements (Community) with community organisations in Leeds. I am also regularly checking Minerva (our virtual learning environment) for small group short student reports on their community visits to local community organisations whilst at Primary Care which is part of Campus to Clinic Years 1 & 2, and I offer students feedback on these. The 15th of January will see our second set of IDEALS 2 Inclusion Health - Valuing Diversity workshops in the School and I will be running my usual workshop on 'Working Class Doctors'. I will then get back to attending a range of meetings at community organisations in the city. I am really proud that our School will be hosting the next national meeting of Diversity in Health and Medicine (DIMAH) on the 16th of January and we are members of this network - check out their website at I will also be attending a very interesting sounding lecture in our School at the end of the month by Professor Hilary Becker on 'Making Decisions Better Together' which I believe includes involving patients. Our medical students return next week and the new term then begins! SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . Indian government promises independent review of medical regulation reform bill. . "Drunk Tanks" are studied over festive period to see if they ease pressure on emergency departments. . Trump says tax bill "essentially repealed Obamacare". . NHS consults public on plans to restrict access to over-the-counter drugs. . Drug shortages cost NHS £38m in November. . Seven in 10 complaints reviewed under new GMC scheme thrown out. . UK is less attractive place to work, GMC warns, as reliance on overseas doctors increases. . Darzi to lead new independent review of the NHS and social care. . NHS publishes estimates of avoidable deaths in hospitals. . NHS will need 190,000 more clinicians unless productivity improves, workforce plan warns. . GMC cuts junior doctors registration fees. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

Monday, December 11, 2017

End of Term and Happy Holiday!

We currently have 32 year 2/3 medical students out with community organisations in Leeds on placement as part of the RESS Pre-Xmas Student Selected Projects (Community) Programme. I have a feedback meeting with the students on Friday the 14th of December after the placements finish and I will then hear if the placements went well or if anything could have been done differently. I mark the students reflective diaries and community newsletter articles from these in January and they are usually really enjoyable to read. I am also currently getting some of the short reports (one side of A4) on student community visits whilst at Primary Care as part of Year 2 Campus to Clinic and I offer brief feedback to the students on these. The first years do Campus to Clinic from January next year and again in small groups of four they also have to carry out community visits and it is always interesting to read about the diverse range of community organisations that the students have visited. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . . Judge grants anonymity to hospital treating brain damaged baby to protect staff. . NHS pays £45,000 to family of woman who was kept alive against her will. . Make detaining patients who can't pay their medical bills illegal. . Leading doctors back legal action to force UK government to act on carbon emissions. . Brexit could mean delays for cancer treatments and less safe medicines. . Personalised diet advice could tackle obesity, report advises. . NHS England and government are on collision course over funding. . Welsh opt-out law fails to increase organ donations. . US tax bill could destroy central pillar of Obamacare. . Four week target for children to access mental health services proposed. READ ALL ABOUT IT! A Happy Christmas, A Happy Holiday, and A Happy New Year to All! With best wishes, Barry

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

More Community Work and Planning Student Community Interactions

I have attended a number of planning meetings for a HARP (Health Access for Refugees Project) Conference to be held at The Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds on the 14th of December, as the funding for this very worthwhile project comes to an end. The great concern of those working with such vulnerable groups is that the Government is proposing to bring in charges for some health services for such groups which some believe could be a public health risk as well as costing the NHS more in the long-term? I am also on the Boyz2Men Steering Group in Leeds and this exciting project works with BME men in LS7 and LS8 and is trying to get men to adopt healthier lifestyles. The project has just submitted their six monthly report and I was very impressed by the efforts of its two part-time members of staff. In our School our Green Team is hoping to retain its Silver Award in 2017/18 as we also incorporate level 9 of our building as well as continuing our work on our level 7. It will soon be time in Leeds for The White Ribbon Campaign 16 Days of Action from the 25th of November (this gets men to also address issues of domestic violence) and I will be promoting this particularly amongst the voluntary sector in the city. In the School we are also planning for Campus to Clinic Years 1&2 where students (in groups of four) visit local voluntary groups whilst at Primary Care. In the RESS Programme we will also have 32 Year 2/3 medical students (mainly in pairs) out with diverse voluntary groups in the city over the first two weeks in December and all the organisations involved have now been given the students names. I also had an interesting meeting with Valerie Farnsworth in the School who is leading on IDEALS 1 Unconscious Bias Training and this it is argued can have an impact upon all of our thinking. I finally went to a really lovely inaugural talk given by Professor Laura Stroud in the School on 'The Art of Leadership' and Laura concluded that, "Leadership is a privilege" plus she also drew from the famous Black Report that suggested the greatest poverty is "The poverty of aspiration." SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . Uganda grapples with Marburg disease (Ebola-like) outbreak. . Voters back Obamacare in local and state elections (USA). . NHS needs £4b boost in budget to protect care, think tank warns (Health Foundation, Kings Fund, Nuffield, joint analysis). . GP Leader urges government to step up investment. . Government launches scheme to deliver five "breakthrough technologies" a year. . Patients' views were side lined as STPs were launched, says Healthwatch England. . "Weekend effect" is not reduced by clinical standards designed to tackle it, study finds. . NHS should be "first port of call" for potential Brexit savings, says Hunt. . Delhi fights for air under toxic fog. . Trumps' promises on opioids not backed by funds. . Uncertain overseas recruitment is threatening care NHS Leaders warn. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Working with the voluntary sector

I recently attended a meeting of Leeds City of Sanctuary and it is a worry that refugees (or more particularly asylum seekers) may be charged for some health services (including maternity and possibly even vaccinations) if current government proposals go ahead. Some of us are very concerned at the possible negative impact of this on health in diverse and often poorer communities. I also attended a meeting of Leeds Men's Health & Wellbeing Network Executive Committee and it was great to hear about the excellent work being done by theBoyz2Men Project in Leeds LS7 and LS8 which is getting BME men to take part in more healthy activities. We will be meeting soon to see how this model could be extended and hopefully to explore the potential for rolling it out to other inner-city areas in Leeds. A lot of exciting things are being planned in the city for the 16 Days of Action around The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) from the 25th of November, 2017. WRC also gets men to address issues of domestic violence and I am on the Planning Group for this to try to promote the days particularly amongst the voluntary sector in the city. With the Jigsaw Visitor's Centre we have had to look at one Tender bid again (to possibly run another prison's visitor centre) and we will decide if we should go ahead with this shortly. In the School we had the first of our two IDEALS 2 Language Lab Workshop sessions and these offer basic welcoming phrases in BME languages common to the region (plus we run workshops on Sign Language) and the first workshops went really well. It is great that the tutors say a bit about the background to the language and its culture at the beginning and hopefully the sessions will help to build a future better rapport between diverse patients and doctors. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . Locum pay is up 6% after tax change. . Backlash prompts WHO to withdraw "goodwill ambassador" role for Mugabe. . Doctor whose scrubs emitted smell of alcohol is cleared of drink driving. . GP who tried to discredit college is struck off. . Private sector needs extensive reform to protect patients, says think tank. . New Primary Care model expands to 200 sites across England. . Limits on prescribing will harm rural and poorer patients, doctors warn. . Department of Health issues warning over cut price GP indemnity scheme. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

Monday, October 09, 2017

Valuing Diversity

We have just had the first of our two IDEALS 2 Inclusion Health - Valuing Diversity small group interactive workshops for medical students and prior to these in the morning we have an excellent talk in the lecture theatre by Howard Beck of Leeds City Council on Deaf Awareness. I also facilitate a workshop on Working Class Doctors and in an action-centred case study the students come up with ideas on how we may attract more diverse working class students to do medicine and I then pass these onto our Widening Participation Team to be considered. I continue to give my time back to the community by being a member of a number of community organisations in the city and with The Jigsaw Visitor's Centre at Leeds Prison we are now finalising our plans to potentially run two more visitor centres in the region. After a very long delay (due to the refurbishment of our building) I have finally been able to arrange a launch of the excellent Community Arts Initiative painting produced by Age UK's Over 55's LGBT Group - Out in Leeds. It is now planned for December 2017 and I also hope to invite some young LGBT medical students and members of the University Union LGBT Group to attend as well as our Director of Medical Education. I recently attended a great talk by Dr Robert Burroughs of Leeds Beckett University as part of Black History Month and his work in researching slavery is giving a voice to those forgotten by history including black people themselves. I also met with St George's Crypt who support the homeless and destitute of Leeds and we hope to increase the number of year 2/3 medical students that they take as part of our December RESS Pre-Xmas Student Selected Projects plus we also aim to explore how we can get medical students to do some research with them as part of our ESREP Programme. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . Gun injuries cost US $3b a year in hospital charges. . Plastic surgeons report surge in reoperations for patients treated abroad. . Persistent lapses at Cornwall hospital trust lead to special measures. . Prime minister promises review of organ donation and Mental Health Act. . Number of British doctors working in Australia and New Zealand is rising. . BMA calls for urgent meeting with health secretary over GP crisis. . NHS staff march against passport checks. . Limits on working hours may be relaxed after Brexit warns employment expert. . Two thirds of Europe's psychiatric trainees are looking to migrate. . Hunt promises affordable homes and flexible hours to retain NHS staff. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

Monday, September 25, 2017

Community based medical education gets under way!

Along with others I gave a short talk to year 2 medical students on the Campus to Clinic part of the curriculum last week and I focussed on their community visits to voluntary groups whilst at Primary care. I gave the example of food banks and if a doctor had a family as patients who simply weren't getting enough food to eat then if the doctor did research on their local community they may find a local food bank they could refer the family to, and this may also help the students to think more holistically. Another example would be signposting potentially socially isolated older patients to local older peoples' projects and these are also examples of what the NHS calls 'social prescribing.' We also had our year 2/3 RESS December Pre-Xmas Student Selected Projects Open Afternoon in the School and I was available to talk to students about the Community option plus to answer any questions they may have. Overall 37 students came to hear about our option. Our IDEALS 2 Language Lab workshops start in October 2017 (over 2 weeks) and we cover BME languages common to our region plus sign language and there is also a workshop on 'English in a medical setting' which is geared primarily towards international students. The purpose of these workshops is for the students to learn some basic welcoming phrases in BME languages and to build a better rapport with diverse groups of patients. There are also a range of video podcasts on each language available on our virtual learning environment for the medical students. In these sessions we ask the tutors to start by saying a bit about the background to the language and about the culture that the language comes from. In October we will also have the first of our 2 IDEALS 2 Inclusion Health - Valuing Diversity workshops where we bring in outside organisations and individuals to run small group interactive workshops on diversity topics. The first workshops are proceeded by a guest lecture on Deaf Awareness by Howard Beck from Leeds City Council which usually proves very popular. In December I will have 34 year 2/3 students out on placement on the RESS Community option and will then have their reflective diaries and community newsletter articles to mark. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . GPs in an "invidious" position to prescribe ADHD drugs without specialist knowledge. . NHS bosses reject GPs' request to close patients list. . Last ditch effort to repeal Obamacare gathers steam. . Just 3% of patients with long term conditions have a written care plan. . One in 10 parents with child in neonatal care don't see a consultant in 24 hours, audit finds. . CQC rates 90% of general practice good or better. . BMA urges more career flexibility and better occupational support to fight workforce crisis. . Serious incident investigations for cerebral palsy are "poor quality," says watchdog. . You Tube videos promote positive image of alcohol, finds study. . General practice funding rose by 3% last year. . Few novel antibiotics in the pipeline, WHO warns. . Mental health services turned down help for 50,000 young people in England last year, report estimates. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry