October 2016 saw the beginning of the third year of the West of England AHSN’s GP Clinical Evidence Fellowship programme, with four new GP recruits joining the six who have continued in post for another year.

These 10 highly motivated GPs are each based in a clinical commissioning group (CCG) for half a day a week, acting as ‘evidence champions’.  Working closely with commissioners, they take best clinical evidence and embed it into commissioning planning discussions and decision making to ensure scarce resources are used effectively.  They are based in the same CCG throughout the year, with all seven of the CCGs in the West of England hosting at least one clinical evidence fellow; four of whom have opted to fund an additional session per week for this programme year in order to secure additional dedicated resource to support evidence-based commissioning.

The fellowship programme is a great opportunity for professional development, with the GP fellows learning about the CCG through engagement with its staff and activities.  The programme also encourages and supports each fellow to develop skills in critical appraisal, and delivery of training through the ‘Finding the Evidence’ and ‘Getting Started with Evaluation’ workshops.

Some examples of work that the fellows have been involved in to date include:

  • Reviewing evidence on the use of computers and apps in depression and anxiety
  • Near-patient CRP (C-reactive protein) testing to reduce antibiotic prescribing in out of hours setting
  • Redesign of COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patient pathway to improve patient care and reduce hospital admissions
  • Evidence review for exercise and spinal injections in musculo-skeletal (MSK) management
  • Implementation and evaluation of patient activation measures (PAM) in MSK pathways
  • Evaluation of the use of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) in primary care.

The fellowship programme will be re-evaluated during early 2017.  This will highlight its impact and value, and assess the effect of changes made to the programme as a result of the previous evaluation, carried out in early 2016.

The fellows in the photo from left to right are:

  • Nick Snelling (Bristol CCG)
  • Catherine Bennett (Wiltshire CCG)
  • Ed Mann (North Somerset CCG)
  • Caroline Ward (Swindon CCG)
  • Peter Brindle (West of England AHSN’s Commissioning Evidence-informed Care Lead)
  • Charlie Kenward (North Somerset CCG)
  • Bisola Ezobi (Bath & North East Somerset CCG)
  • Farida Ahmad (Bristol CCG)
  • Vanessa Dane (Gloucestershire CCG)
  • Phil Simons (South Gloucestershire CCG)
  • Francis Campbell (Swindon CCG) is also a fellow but was not present for the photograph.

Posted on January 9, 2017

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