CaHRU were represented at the 48th annual scientific meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care which took place at the University of Exeter by Dr Zahid Asghar and Professor Niro Siriwardena. The title of the conference was ‘Primary Care: Arriving? Or departing?’ but the quality of research and presentations left delegates in no doubt that primary care research, despite the pressures of day-to-day general practice was here to stay and flourishing.
The conference began with a soprano Iryna Ilnytska singing Mozart. The Helen Lester memorial lecture which followed was given this year by Professor Gene Feder from Bristol, who talked about his remarkable work on recognition and care for victims of domestic abuse.
Dr Asghar gave and oral presentation of his work on ‘Performance of candidates declaring dyslexia in the MRCGP clinical skills assessment: cross sectional study’, funded by the Royal College of General Practitioners. This is the first study investigating the performance of doctors with dyslexia in OSCEs for high-stakes licensing purposes. Trainees declaring dyslexia, and particularly declared late, were less likely to pass the CSA, while trainees from minority ethnic backgrounds and those who had received their primary medical qualification outside the UK were more likely to declare dyslexia after initially failing the assessment. This delay in diagnosis (reducing the possibility of additional preparation strategies) or declaration (decreasing access to reasonable adjustments) may disadvantage these candidates.
Prof Siriwardena presented a poster on ‘What factors are associated with ambulance conveyance to hospital in patients with diabetes or diabetes-related emergencies in care homes? Cross sectional database study’. This study analysed over 12000 ambulance attendances to care homes for diabetes-related emergencies comparing these with almost 22000 attendances to care home residents from 3.3 million calls over a one year period. Conveyance to hospital was as common for care home patients with diabetes-related emergencies as for non-care home community dwelling patients, and more likely when conscious level was impaired, heart or respiratory rate abnormal or when treatment for hypoglycaemia was not given by ambulance clinicians. The study has implications for better training of staff, access to guidelines and primary care, and support to improve monitoring treatment and emergency care for these individuals.
There were excellent keynote talks from Dr Jennifer Dixon (Health Foundation) on primary care, Dr Shannon Barkley from the WHO on family medicine worldwide and the new Astana Declaration as well as Prof Andrew Hattersley talking on digital health for people with diabetes. Together with some excellent orals, elevator pitches and posters the conference reflected the breadth and depth of primary care research.
By Niro Siriwardena