ADEGS January 2022 - SAPC regional meeting

Thursday 20th January 2022 marked the annual ADEGS meeting, bringing together academic primary care units from across a number of Scottish universities – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews. For the first time ADEGS had teamed up with the Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC), and hence was also a SAPC Regional Scotland meeting. Hosted this year by the University of Glasgow and held online, the one-day event was well attended with 80 academic/primary care colleagues participating in presentations and workshops.

The meeting was opened with a welcome from the organising committee chair Dr Bhautesh Jani, who reflected on the title of this year’s meeting - ‘Academic primary care in Scotland: Moving beyond the pandemic’. Dr Jani spoke about the impact of the pandemic on pre-existing health inequalities and the work of those in both primary care and research, and how we move forward as Covid becomes endemic.

The meeting then heard from keynote speaker Professor Anne MacFarlane, Professor of Primary Healthcare Research at the University of Limerick. Professor MacFarlane spoke on ‘Optimising community involvement in primary care for health equity’, challenging attendees to look at community involvement beyond traditional silos and how we can incorporate it at different levels within primary care – in consultations, practices and research. Prof. MacFarlane then set out a commonality (that involvement is not embedded as routine practice), a warning (that those with greatest need are under-represented in common forms of involvement) and finally opportunities for better involvement. These opportunities related to creating ‘participatory spaces’ to facilitate involvement and the importance of recognising the relationship between different spaces and power hierarchies. She closed her presentation by suggesting that we need to create “more space for dialogues”.

The morning session continued with a varied selection of extended oral presentations from researchers from each of the member universities across two parallel sessions. Presenters spoke about their work relating to research methodological issues, medical education and the findings of research studies relating to out-of-hours care, mental health, asthma, multimorbidity and chronic pain. Both sessions provoked interesting questions and discussion among the participants.

A lunchtime yoga session gave a welcome opportunity for attendees to get up and move after a morning sat in front of the computer. Dr Katie Gallacher then introduced the afternoon session, which kicked off with three parallel workshops. One of the workshops, led by Dr Tracy Ibbotson (Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow/ MVLS INVOLVE) and Mrs Lynn Laidlaw, focused on ‘Meaningful public and patient involvement (PPI). The workshop helped the participants to understand definitions of public and patient involvement and engagement with an appreciation of the core principles and essential values needed, and to identify PPI support available from the NRS Primary Care Network PPI group.

A further workshop on increasing GP teaching and academic careers was chaired by Professor Frank Sullivan (University of St Andrews), Professor John Gillies (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Lindsey Pope (University of Glasgow). The workshop participants had a meaningful discussion on how to progress with a rigorous evaluation of the effects of increasing GP teaching in medical curriculum on career attitudes and intentions in Scottish medical students and linking that data with existing data through UKMed to assess career decisions.

The third workshop comprised a series of elevator pitches, with presenters given just four minutes to pitch their research to their audience. Presentations included projects relating to risk detection and prediction in elderly population, impacts of the pandemic in the UK and Malawi and components of medical education. Further interesting analyses relating to multimorbidity and HIV were also presented. All presenters impressed in their ability to describe their research in a concise and engaging manner.

Professor Victor Montori (Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic) was then welcomed to the meeting and delivered the afternoon keynote speech, titled ‘A revolution of careful and kind care’. Professor Montori described the need for a revolution in the unsustainable way in which healthcare is currently delivered, without caring - generic, burdensome and cruel – and by systems which are ‘care impaired’. Instead, Professor Montori argued persuasively for a health care system that is ‘careful and kind for all’ in which care is the core purpose, where we have unhurried conversations in which the person is seen in ‘HD’, there is shared decision making and we deliver minimally disruptive care. He further advocated for a change in wider society to focus on caring for each other, where we value interdependence and for care to be democratised and recognised as contributing to society.

The meeting was closed by Dr Gallacher, who also presented the day’s prizes judged by a panel of representatives from each university. The SAPC ASM prize was awarded to Kirstie McClatchey (University of Edinburgh) for her presentation ‘The contribution of Health Psychology and Behaviour Change to the IMP2ART Programme of Work’. She will receive free registration to the national SAPC conference in June. The best elevator pitch was awarded to Karen Wood (University of Glasgow) for her presentation on ‘Experiences of care during the Covid-19 pandemic among people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and MSK pain’.

The organising committee wishes to thank all those who attended and presented at the meeting for their contribution to interesting and thought-provoking presentations and discussions. We look forward to the next year’s meeting.

Karen Wood, Karen Penman, Katie Gallacher and Bhautesh Jani (conference organising committee)