Bristol Women Tech Hub look at female founders. It was great to be approached to share my journey up to this point and how we may move forward for general practice of the future, plus what the career can offer women.
The New and Improved GP+ Networking is about to Launch!
It brings membership benefits above and beyond the beta version. This will not be the end of the story and I have a clear vision of how to aid productivity amongst the general practice community and serve the needs of those wanting extended roles. In order for this to be achieved and bring widespread benefit I must make GP+ Networking a strong, sustainable community and allow higher level functions.This is why I am moving to an annual subscription model. This will be £50 per annum but will start at a 50% discount (only £2 a month!) to reflect the early stage of community growth.
For those of you who have registered on the beta site we would like to say thank you for your early support and gift you version 2 access for this year.
Benefits of GP+ Networking membership
- Save time
- Navigate systems by forming teams of likeminded doctors and building on their experience
- Share protocols and documents that have brought quality improvement.
- Find efficiency savings within your practice
- Allow an overview of what is happening in general practice and what is possible.
- Achieve a better balance and avoid burnout.
- Overcome isolation and finding others who are most relevant.
- Peer support.
- Coaching from those more experienced in a chosen area of interest.
- Succession planning. Connect with a network of GP registrars and early career GPs and advertise jobs for free.
- ‘Anytime’ communication to improve local GP engagement in local working patterns and projects via group discussion.
- Augmentation of established face to face GP education groups.
- For those in other speciality training or foundation doctors the ability to browse what a career in GP looks like and allowing discussion with a variety of GPs.
- Find inspiration.
- Showcase your initiatives through the site.
Additional features appearing in Version 2.
- A homepage collating all new activity on the site, including uploaded documents and groups chat subjects.
- Visible chat groups that can be categorised to extended roles.
- Privacy range for chat groups from open to closed and hidden.
- Personalisation of relevant content for up to 3 extended roles.
- Updates and GP+ Networking Media.
- Documents sharing and categorisation to find the really useful stuff!
GP+ Networking’s greatest asset is its support and membership and with that we can bring real impact to general practice.
Thank you for your ongoing support
Dr Cathryn Dillon
GP Principal and Founder
The next chapter in the story is about to begin! The wheels of change are turning and the benefit that GP+ Networking brings to primary care on several levels is becoming clear. The growing user base alongside new functionality that provides practical collaboration across primary care means that GP+ Networking can provide real impact and time savings to busy doctors wanting to work better.
The launch of version 2 of the closed access section of GP+ Networking has followed a period of consultation and testing. In addition to version 2 we will be launching a membership for practices that captures quality improvement and protocol sharing for the wider aspects of running a successful practice. This is currently being built but as yet I have not come up with a suitable name! The plan for this is to start in Somerset practices and the be rolled out in the new year.
The new improved GP+ Networking will include the following updates:
- Homepage to include
- all group chat, searchable by extended role
- all new documents, searchable by extended role
- new users to the site
- customised area for your area of interest
- GP+ news and media
- Improved group chat formation
- Varied privacy for group chat from open through to invitation and hidden
- Direct access for partners to populate educational events
An App for improved mobile experience and alerts to new activity will be following version 2 shortly after. The functionality of GP+ Networking really is adapting to what its community demands. Be part of it.
This is a grassroots innovation and it is important that is maintained so all suggestions gratefully received.
Leadership in the NHS is often criticised for being top heavy, loosing relevance and importantly empowerment as it is filtered down to those working at the coal face. There is a tremendous wealth of experience and a bubbling pot of innovative ideas amongst the grassroots. They must be nurtured, supported through followership and scaled to achieve impact.
GP+ Networking and Fourteenfish have both been born from experience of the poor alternative. Duncan and I share a common background. Both GPs with multiple extended roles collected along the way. We have gone the step further beyond ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’. We have taken many difficult steps since starting that journey but plan to work synergistically to ensure digital innovation is used to bring the fulfilment back to professional development in general practice and for professional development not to add to burnout but be used to fight back against it.
GP+ Networking has been developed to support the expanding area of GPs who want an extended role (ER). This goes further than those requiring accreditation for their clinical roles. It includes clinical and non-clinical interests that showcases how dynamic a career in general practice is. I have attracted more extended roles along the journey to achieve my own in skin surgery. This is in part because the path was so convoluted and I had to do something to improve that process. I moved from a successful surgical career into general practice because of the stability and opportunity it offers, whilst maintaining my love in operating. This aspect of general practice needs to be shouted from the roof tops amidst our workforce crisis. There are others across the country that had learnt from this journey and who still faced it. What if there was a platform to connect people considering or working in general practice based on their interests, backgrounds or skills? There wasn’t, I couldn’t see it coming anytime soon so I got on and built it. It has been evolving ever since and my vision for GP+ Networking is exciting. But first things first.
Currently GP+ Networking is free to join and is profile based. It allows you to find others based on background, extended roles or interests. From this you can form group discussion or individual instant messaging to learn from each other. Documents can be downloaded from the profiles of others and shared.
Joining GP+ Networking is a direction of travel towards working in a way that makes sense for those working at grassroots. I am a partner and do my full-time hours in 3 days. Work has got to the stage that I struggle to call myself part time (or at least that is what my non-medic friends remind me). Innovation is needed to fight back from the inevitable burn out of continuing on the path of doing what has always been done whilst patients become older and more complex whilst demand throughout all ages seems to rise. I would like to mobilise and scale organisational improvements that focus on all the other aspects of general practice outside the consultation rather than taking the best bits away. Save time and share is a project that I am developing within GP+ Networking. Funding is the inevitable obstacle with any new initiative but I remain hopeful and the chances of that are increased considerably as the GP+ Network grows, so join now and tell your friends!
Dr Cathryn Dillon
Founder GP+ Networking
This month marks 2 years since I decided to take a vision of a more productive and connected primary care and set up GP+ Networking. At first it focused on improving the journey of establishing an extended role like my own in general practice and has since grown to highlight what can be achieved if we work better together, across primary care but also with secondary care.
I have had successive knock backs with funding but never have I been told my vision was a anything other than the way things need to be. That has kept my focus.
- We should understand our workforce so that we can unleash skill within it
- We should provide care closer to home
- We should share ideas and work at scale
- We should build on experience and encourage innovation
- We should have better peer support
- We should listen when so many new GP’s want an extended role
- Extended roles attracts new GPs
I have also achieved more than I realise within that short time and I am grateful to all the followers that have supported those achievements.
We have created platform that
- allows doctors to find others with the same interests and backgrounds and connect with them
- form group chats based on shared interest
- share protocols and documentation
- has boosted the image of general practice to medical students
- demonstrated the possibilities within a career in general practice and provided insipration
- allowed specialist trainees to explore general practice as a career option and talk directly to GPs.
GP+ Networking has launched in beta form and myself and the team have learnt so much. We have lots of improvements and developments ready to put into action. This particularly surrounds quality improvement, working at scale, sharing practical assistance and accreditation. I am working closely with central organisations to achieve these more ambition goals.
GP+ Networking is more than a network; more than mentoring or coaching and more than an ideas hub. It is a grassroots movement steered by its expanding membership, who understand the difficulty general practice faces but want to celebrate and demonstrate its strength and adaptability to modern healthcare delivery.
Help us grow. Share the word. Register and enjoy showcasing your career through your profile. There are no rose tinted glasses intended here but through peer support there is resilience. Warn others of the pitfalls you have faced and learn from others. Share the vision with you colleagues and help shape the future of GP+ Networking by feeding back your experience of the site and help pilot new features.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Dr Cathryn Dillon
Founder of GP+ Networking and GP Principal Cranleigh Gardens Medical Centre, Somerset
One of the main drivers that led to me setting up GP+ Networking was to demonstrate to colleagues what is possible within primary care. Many medical students make future career choices based on perceptions made within clinical teaching sessions. It has been recently highlighted by the Chair of RCGP that the perception of General practice in medical schools is often a negative one. I was certainly experience the “whether you like it or not 50% of you will end up as GPs”.
Exposure to general practice may be limited and focuses on core general practice only. General practice offers a hugely diverse career within core general practice but even more so beyond it with the increasingly popular extended roles.
I myself have taken my surgical skills and used them to provide skin surgery within my own practice. I am still in the process of developing this further. My career is constantly developing whilst I have a fantastic foundation within my partnership.
GP+ Networking caught the attention of Henry, a Bristol university medical student who had assumed his career would lead him into surgery. Through discovery of the range of surgical activity possible within primary care he now feels that general practice will give him the perfect balance for his career. Not only that, he is now actively encouraging his peers to register on the website to browse the possibilities themselves.
Turning heads towards a career in general practice
Our future career choices are often led by those who inspire us. Henry has found that GP+ Networking has done that for general practice.
Currently general practice does not get the same exposure within undergraduate training, let alone general practice with special interests and extended roles. If students are blind to those possibilities they will not follow us.
GP+ Networking allows students to search out GP trainees and GPs who can inspire them and connect with them on a one to one basis. Adding a personal dimension to career advice is a powerful tool and one that we should embrace.
I was an ST3 in plastic surgery when I decided to change to a career in GP. I know that there will be others within specialist training schemes whose life priorities or interests have changed and would consider an alternative career. The difference is now GP+ Networking allows them to look around and connect to GPs with a similar background and make an informed choice. This is happening even with GP+ Networking being in its infancy
“I’m an ST3 in Paeds but considering changing to GP. Thought I’d use your site to give me an idea of the additional roles some GPs take on”
I think the network is a powerful tool to solve our workforce crisis. When primary care is strong then the NHS is strong.
Why get involved as a GP?
Henry has also allowed me to reflect on my own achievements and recognised how interesting and variable my own job is currently. Being reminded of this when we are all working hard is important for morale. Teaching, mentoring and coaching are so important to energise our practice.
It can be an isolating profession sometimes. In our social lives many of us are more connective than ever via social media. GP+ Networking allows us to form communities based on our professional interests within a secure environment.
The larger the GP+Networking community is the greater it will be as a resource for general practice.
Be a part of it and watch it grow. Register now and create your profile for free.
If you would like to showcase your work as a GP with an extended role then please get in contact. We would love to here from you.
Embedded in day-to-day clinical practice, this year’s PCRS-UK conference will explore how we respond to an ageing population with long term multi-morbidities at a time of huge changes in the healthcare workforce, budget constraints and new technologies, to support our patients with respiratory conditions optimise their physical, mental and spiritual health.
Start Date: October 14 08:00
End Date: October 15 20:00
Location: The International Centre, St Quentin Gate, Telford, TF3 4JH
I believe that there are three ways to avoid burnout and continue to enjoy working as a General Practitioner: do something in addition to GP, always have something to work towards, and remind yourself that money isn’t everything.
I have set myself challenges to work towards roughly every five years.
Started in practice as a GP partner, 7 sessions/week, 1:2 Friday afternoons/Saturday mornings. Reorganised the practice over the next few years to sort, tag and summarise notes.
Appointed as postgraduate tutor in Coventry. This enabled me to become a co-opted member of the local medical committee. This provided an entry into the world of medico-politics. Most people might find it boring and something to avoid. However, I think that it is much better to be within a system, understanding how it works and how it can be made to work best for you and your patients, rather than just letting everything happen around you without having any control yourself.
Various clinical assistantships for 3-13 years in A/E, Rheumatology and Gynaecology
“Doctor’s friend,” which entailed assisting colleagues with complaints and then for the Medical Defence Union
3-year Distance Learning Course in Occupational Medicine leading to the AFOM and providing Occupational Medical services to many local companies until my retirement in 2015
Became a GP trainer
GP Expert Witness providing independent GP opinions on the standard of care of GPs when being sued by patients.
In the days of Fundholding, trained in Vasectomies to provide a service to local GPs cheaper than hospital tariff.
Cardiff University Expert Witness certificate
Coventry Professional Executive Committee
Clinical Lead on CCG
Some things, such as committee work, pay little or nothing but are important and help me to understand our work. Other medical work, such as expert witness reports, not only pays well but is very interesting and informative at the same time, helping to keep me safe from complaints!
And where does the time come from? Good time management, especially trying to do only those jobs that a GP can do, and delegating as much as possible to others. Do not aim to do more than seven sessions a week as a GP; use the other two (not three, as I believe that everyone should have at least the equivalent of one afternoon off a week to help maintain sanity and avoid burnout) in a different way, whether for no money or lots of money. And finally, keep your desk clear. So that I can start afresh on Monday mornings, I endeavour never to leave work on a Friday until all paperwork is completed, yet still get to the pub for 6 30.
Society of Occupational Medicine www.som.org.uk
Bond Solon Expert Witness Training www.bondsolon.com
Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health www.fsrh.org
Association of Surgeons in Primary Care www.aspc-uk.net
We are pleased to announce that both the Association of Surgeons in Primary Care (ASPC) and the Primary Care Society of Gastroenterology (PCSG) have both provided support for GP+ Networking so that we can work collaboratively, bringing groups of GPs with specialist interest together. Both societies provide excellent educational resources that will be published via the events section of GP+ Networking. We hope to work with other primary care societies in a similar way to strengthen the specialist work being done in primary care.
My first RCGP conference was buzzing with enthusiasm and it was great to meet so many medical students and AiT/First 5 members looking at new and exciting ways of working within a career in General Practice. I received a lot of support regarding GP+ Networking and will continue to work with college members to ensure support is given to those wanting support within their GP career will receive it.
There was a fantastic small group with GPs who already do something outside mainstream GP and I hope to replicate that buzz via the coach matching platform on the website. I believe that mentoring and coaching from those working within the profession with similar interests and goals to oneself is so important for morale, productivity and general enjoyment of the profession. Over the next few months I will be pushing the website hard to ensure we have fantastic potential coaches and enlivenment through enthusiastic and inquisitive juniors coming through at the beginning of their career.
If you want to be part of this then please register via www.medicalnetworking.co.uk. and find out more. I am aware we have limited time so setting up a profile will be quick and easy. You will have so much to share on your profile because you have been through the development of your extended role and work within it. Just think back at all the information, guidelines, documents stored on your computer or within your favourites that you wish you had when starting out. Put it to good use and lets make it easier for others who have little more than enthusiasm by showing how to navigate through.
My favourite quote of the conference was used by Maureen Baker ” If you want to be incrementally better be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better be collaborative”