Ground Hog Day?

by Louise Warburton
on 1st November 2012

Recently I co-chaired a meeting at the Royal College of Physicians with Chris Deighton, entitled

“The interface between Primary and Secondary Care; perspectives from the Rheumatology community”

Elaine Hay was one of the speakers and she commented how much this conference seemed like Ground Hog Day! Surely we were just going over and over the same things which we were talking about 8 years ago, or longer.

I clearly remember speaking at the Midlands Rheumatology Society in 2006 (ish) about being a GPwSI and what this would bring to the arena of Rheumatology Patient Care. On that occasion I was lined up against Dr Andrew Bamji who described the interface between Primary and Secondary Care, as being like the Napoleonic wars! Rather a baptism of fire!

The meeting last week was actually a breath of fresh air. Andrew Bamji has been successively replaced by more empathetic BSR Presidents, culminating in Chris Deighton who is keen to work with us. I first met Chris whilst working in the NICE Rheumatoid Arthritis Guidelines and I don’t think his enthusiasm and common sense can be beaten.

So, the meeting last week had a much more positive feel to it; of course, Rheumatologists’ minds have been somewhat concentrated by the new world of Commissioning and CCGs. It must be very difficult looking into the world of GP commissioning from a hospital Ivory Tower, and we definitely had a feel of some of the anxiety in the audience.

We were all willing to share examples of best practice and if the momentum of this conference can be carried forward into the Regional BSR Groups, then I am very optimistic about the future of Rheumatology and Primary Care co-operation.

One development which should help to carry on this excellent work, is INSPIRE. This is the new combined website between BSR and PCRS. The Conference last week was used as a launching pad for this venture. As a first piece of work, PCRS, BSR, and Keele University ARUK Primary Care Sciences Building have been working on a condensed gout guideline for GPs .; a copy of the guideline is attached to this Newsletter.

The Press Release went as follows;

“The exciting new resource INSPIRE (Integrated Services for Patients In Rheumatology) website will be launched. This joint initiative brings together BSR's clinicians and scientists, PCR's general practitioners with a special interest in rheumatology, and Keele University’s primary care academics. This initiative aims to promote best standards of care for patients with musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr Chris Deighton, President of BSR said,
It is essential in the changing NHS that we work closely with our GP colleagues to ensure true integration of care, where the transition for patients to and from GP to specialist is seamless. We need to make sure that patients see the right person at the right time and in the right place to ensure a patient-centred service and best use of resources. We very much look forward to working with PCRS and developing the INSPIRE website together.

We are starting with guidelines on gout, a very common condition that is curable but often badly managed. We want to reach out to all GPs to improve the care of all patients with rheumatological conditions, and not just the GPs that are interested in musculoskeletal problems. These are common conditions where even small improvements in care would result in big changes to the quality of patients’ lives.

Dr Louise Warburton, President of PCR society said,
INSPIRE has been a joint venture between BSR , PCR Society and Keele University. We are hopeful that it will provide new resources for General Practitioners in the management of patients with musculoskeletal diseases.

Information on the website will be up to date, evidence based and peer reviewed and GPs will be able to use the resource as trusted site for information.
The development of the website in itself has improved communication between specialist Rheumatologists and Primary Care and has helped us to work towards a shared ideal of better patient-care.”

BSR have pump-primed the venture with £8000 to set up the website. We intend to develop the website into a flexible resource for GPs and specialist alike. Now we need to help to move the resource forwards.

Of course, PCRS also launched its own new website this month; thanks to Nic and Alastair for developing this.

Please could we have guidelines/articles/news to populate this now.

Finally, I look forward to seeing you all at the Conference in York and thank you to those members who show willing support for the Society and attend conferences and meetings to represent PCR Society.

Thank you!
Louise Warburton

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