Establishing primary care network placements in a new medical school.
Kent and Medway Medical School is one of five new medical schools established to support the expansion of the workforce. The programme features early clinical placements in the community, starting in year one and .structured as immersion weeks in Primary Care Networks. The KMMS school opened in September 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with all of its attendant challenges.We report on the challenges of establishing primary care placements for a new medical school in the newly established primary care networks (PCN). These offer a unique opportunity for medical students to learn about the provision of proactive personalised and co-ordinated multidisciplinary care at an early and formative stage in their careers.
Initial challenges included agreeing selection criteria for the PCNs before attending to the legal complexities of negotiating a service level agreement with the networks, addressing the needs of all stakeholders. With the advent of the COVID 19 pandemic, faculty development was conducted remotely. Challenges of the immersion weeks included compromises associated with lockdown restrictions, limited movement across organisations, social distancing and “shielding” students.
We will present a logic model evaluation of this first year of placements. This summarises the resources required, activities (aspects of implementation) as well as the outcomes. These are considered from the perspective of the school, the GP faculty and students.
With a move to place based learning across networks, learning about contracting and quality assurance models may be transferable to other settings.COVID-19 constraints compounded the challenges but offered a unique opportunity to observe multidisciplinary, cross organisation work at first hand in the delivery of the COVD vaccination programme. This balanced the change to a blended learning format