Our GP Clinical Evidence Fellows
Top left to right: Simon Cleave (Wiltshire CCG), Emily Lake (North Somerset CCG), Ed Mann (North Somerset CCG), Caroline Ward (Swindon CCG), Will Wallage (Wiltshire CCG), Phil Simons (South Gloucestershire CCG), Alan Gywnn (Gloucester CCG), Nick Snelling (Bristol CCG), Farida Ahmed (Bristol CCG)
Not pictured: Jonathan Tricker (Bath & North East Somerset CCG), Francis Campbell (Swindon CCG)

On 4 February, nine GPs gathered at the West of England AHSN offices in Bristol to discuss how they are championing the use of evidence and evaluation within the seven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) within our patch.

These nine GPs, along with another two who were unable to attend, comprise our latest cohort of GP Clinical Evidence Fellows.  Each CCG has one day per week (two GP sessions) of time funded by the West of England AHSN and Health Education England.  These Fellows all share common a drive for professional development, a personal interest in applying evidence in practice, they want to make a difference and are perhaps curious to find out how health commissioning really works.

The Fellowship is in its second year, with the most recent recruits starting in October 2015.  They work from the CCG offices, and have commented on the significant difference in organisational culture from their GP practice: the open plan office, the ever-changing seating plan of ‘hot-desking’, commissioners tied up in meetings.  It seems that the CCGs also are on a learning curve, of how to best use this precious clinical resource, particularly as searching for and reviewing evidence is not always a routine step in the process of service development.

The Clinical Evidence Fellowship programme is currently undergoing evaluation, having now been running for a over a year. As funding has yet to be identified for a third year of the programme, it is anticipated that the evaluation outcomes will contribute to informing the sustainability of the Fellowship roles.

It has been inspiring to hear about the rich depth and breadth of the work already undertaken by these GPs in small weekly bite-sized chunks of time.  Whilst the complete list of work topics are too numerous to mention here, their progress updates included details in the following areas:

  • Self-care for back pain, including evidence for effectiveness of injections
  • LGBT suicide rates review
  • A review and study at practice level of the necessity of many routine blood tests
  • Chronic disease monitoring effectiveness, including risk stratification
  • Identifying outcome measures through evidence search
  • Evidence review in polypharmacy.

Consideration is now being given by the programme leads as to how to showcase the work of the GP Clinical Evidence Fellows and share it more widely across the West of England.

The programme is run by Peter Brindle, Leader for Commissioning Evidence-Informed Care, West of England AHSN, and Martyn Hewett, Associate Post Graduate Dean, Severn Region, Health Education England.


For more information, contact Jo Bangoura, Evaluation & Commissioning Liaison Manager on j.bangoura@nhs.net.

Posted on February 9, 2016

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