Category: Bright Ideas and Innovation

Arclight: a new ophthalmoscope and otoscope

John Porter recently completed his GP training and is enjoying living in Bath and working as a salaried GP in Bristol. There are items of equipment without which a GP in clinic cannot function. Top of this list comes a stethoscope. Closely followed by an ophthalmoscope or otoscope. As I neared the end of GP specialist training the time was nearing to hand back the practice supplied equipment and to put a hand in my pocket and buy an ophthalmoscope/otoscope of my own. A few hundred pounds, this tends to be the most expensive item needed to get started...

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Tasked based medicine and the generalist

Perhaps I have had a run of bad experiences but I sometimes feel that our secondary care colleagues are beginning to act as technicians and not physicians, directing themselves to a particular task to rule in or rule out a particular diagnosis, and ignoring the fact that the patient is suffering from symptoms, not from a diagnosis. For instance, you may refer a patient complaining of acute onset shortness of breath to the medical team, querying a PE, to have them sent back to you with ‘no exertional desaturation, d-dimer negative, no evidence of PE’. So now you find...

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Shared medical appointments: better by the dozen

A great deal of medicine is education.  The title ‘doctor’ is derived from the Latin word for teacher. Before getting that title, I spent three years working as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher: first in Spain, and then with VSO in Eritrea. I’m no expert educationalist; but I learnt enough to see that a 1:1 interaction is often not the best way to impart complex information. In general practice, I see patients exclusively on a 1:1 basis, in short 10 minute bursts. I have to explain and discuss difficult concepts, and am often left frustrated...

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Genuine patient participation: implementing change in Islington

Phil Wrigley is a Commissioning Manager in Islington where he has worked for over 12 years; he currently leads on LTCs and Self Care – prior to 2004 he was a professional actor for 25 years. There is a scenario frequently used by visual comedians which opens with an elderly, infirm lady standing at a busy crossroads looking a little glum as she watches the traffic whizz past. Our hero, (Benny Hill, Norman Wisdom, et al), assuming that she is trying unsuccessfully to negotiate her way to the other side, takes her by the arm and merrily frogmarches her...

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Bridging the gaps in care: are charities the way forward?

Ashika Sequeira trained on the Bromley GP Scheme and is a Locum General Practitioner. Alexandra Grove is an ST2 trainee in General Practice in the Tower Hamlets training scheme, East London. Vanessa Oo is a GPST2 in the UCLH GP training scheme. Work can sometimes feel like a battle: a daily struggle to engage with our ever increasing list of patients and their complex co-morbidities. One of the challenges we face is a society which promotes unhealthy practices. Despite a growing awareness of the negative impact of poor diet and sedentary lifestyles on health, effective preventative care is increasingly difficult...

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