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Showing posts from April, 2017

Improving the health of young children in Malawi

The department's Global eHealth Unit was in Malawi for two weeks as part of the Supporting LIFE project. From October 2016 to January 2017, the Supporting LIFE consortium ran a clinical trial in two districts in Northern Malawi to assess the added value of a mobile health version of Community Case Management on under-5 referral, re-consultation and hospitalization rates.

The team presented preliminary results from the trial during the Supporting LIFE Dissemination Workshop. The meeting was held in Lilongwe on 9 February 2017 and was attended by Ministry of Health officials, district health officers, health care professionals, WHO and other NGO officials

Addressing polypharmacy in older people

A major challenge for healthcare, particularly for older people, is that patients are ending up on many medicines, termed ‘polypharmacy’. Polypharmacy can be either ‘appropriate’ or ‘problematic.’ With the latter, prescribing professions are traditionally better at starting medicines than stopping them (for a variety of reasons), which means that patients are too often left with problematic polypharmacy that can lead to side effects, interactions, and an inability to manage to take them all.

The NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Northwest London (CLAHRC NWL) have an active Medicines Optimisation work stream. A lot of work has been done around the need for medication review and stopping unnecessary medicines when problematic polypharmacy occurs. The term ‘deprescribing’ has emerged strongly in the literature and CLAHRC NWL have put together what we think is the first journal issue devoted to the topic of deprescribing.

The themed issue is partic…

New 'gene silencer' drug injections reduce cholesterol by 50% in clinical trial

The first in a new class of gene-silencing drugs, known as inclisiran, has halved cholesterol levels in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease. The findings come from the largest trial yet to test the safety and effectiveness of this kind of therapy. The technique, known as RNA interference (RNAi) therapy, essentially ‘switches off’ one of the genes responsible for elevated cholesterol.

Researchers from Imperial College London and their colleagues, who conducted the trial, say the twice-a-year treatment could be safely given with or without statins, depending on individual patient needs. Eventually, inclisiran could help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke related to high cholesterol.

“These initial results are hugely exciting for patients and clinicians,” said Professor Kausik Ray, lead author of the study from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health. “We appear to have found a versatile, easy-to-take, safe, treatment that provides sustained lowering of chole…

5 Minutes With...Nadine Engineer, Faculty Development Manager

Nadine joined our team in January as our new Faculty Development Manager. Her role involves recruiting new teachers, keeping records of existing teachers and arranging teacher training and the Annual Teachers' Conference.

We had a quick chat with Nadine to find out more about her.

·What is your role within the department and how long have you been here?
I have been here for 2 months now, my job title is Primary Care Faculty Development Manager and my role is to aid the Faculty Development lead to recruit and retain more GPs to teach medical students out in GP Practices across north west London.  
•        What does your role involve?
I organise the Imperial GP teacher training course, designed for GPs that are new to teaching for us, or as a refresher for more experienced teachers. I also organise the Imperial ASTIC course, which supports GPs teachers to update their skills over a variety of topics such as coaching/mentoring and feedback skills. In some cases I target GPs and Pract…

Primary Care Education Research update

The GP teaching team continue to be busy with a range of medical education research projects, working with both students and GP teachers to collect data in order to evaluate the educational innovations that are taking place in the department. A number of these projects were presented at the the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) regional conference held on 26th & 27th January in Madingley Hall, Cambridge. These included the following presentations

* Dr Arti Maini and Dr Sonia Kumar - A health coaching training programme for medical students at Imperial College London.
* Dr Andy McKeown, Dr Ravi Parekh and Dr Sonia Kumar - Inspiring commissioners of the future: A unique teaching session for Year 5 medical students to learn about and experience commissioning in the NHS.
* Dr Maham Stanyon, Ms Lisa Carrier, Dr Noreen Ryan and Dr Sonia Kumar - Virtual reality as a tool for learning in medicine; exploring the perceptions of medical students.
* Dr Elizabeth Muir and Dr Melek Somai…

Year 6 GPSA update

Well it's been a busy year so far but now that the term has ended it's time once again to reflect on the successes and the challenges of the year that has passed, and start preparing for the next academic term starting in August. 

The students consistently feedback how much they value time spent consulting in their own clinics, under your expert supervision. Until now there hasn't been a requirement on how many of these clinics students should be doing, and as a result, the student experience is often quite varied across practices. This is why, for the next year, I have produced an 'Essential GPSA guide' that sets out minimum requirements for the attachment which includes a minimum number of independent clinics that students should have across the 3 weeks. If space is an issue in your practice, look out in the next Teacher's Guide for the 'Making teaching work for you and your student apprentice' guide which will contain creative tips to help you the mak…

Year 5 GPPHC update

As we near the end of the academic year, the year 5 students minds inevitably begin to focus on their upcoming PACES exams.  The GPPHC course is ideal preparation for this as it gives the students an opportunity to practice focused history taking, examination and implementing a management plan in a time-limited situation – something which we as GPs do every day we sit in out surgeries.
We hope to implement some exciting changes to the course in the next academic year, hopefully reducing the number of mandatory assignments the students have to complete during their placements to allow them to concentrate more on getting experience consulting independently.  A new course guide for GP tutors is currently being produced and we are also planning some changes to the departmental teaching with a new session on leadership and professionalism.
Thank you once again for hosting and teaching our students – your hard work and dedication to teaching is what makes the course successful.  To quote som…