Background End of life care is a core part of General Practice yet there is often little formal palliative care training for GPs (Barclay, Todd, Lipscombe, 1997) emphasising the need for improved training and collaboration between Primary Care and Palliative Care services.
North East Essex with the support of the East of England Deanery established a Post CCT (certificate of completion of training) Fellowship Scheme offering education within a sub-speciality. Two posts were created in specialist Palliative Medicine. Similar schemes have shown improvement in patient management (Duckett &Casserly, 2003).
Improve recruitment and retention of GPs within the local area (Marchand & Peckham, 2017)
Improve palliative care expertise in Primary care (Mitchell, 2002)
GP development and education (Shipman, Addington–Hall, Barclay et al., 2001)
Promote collaborative working between Primary care and Palliative Medicine.
Methods The Post CCT Fellowship scheme was advertised online as an innovative attempt to improve recruitment and collaborative working between primary and secondary care.
Results Two newly qualified GPs were recruited. Both GPs were employed in a local GP practice and worked one session a week at the hospice. The scheme provided funding for postgraduate education. One GP has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine and the other has completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Palliative Medicine. The roles have covered inpatient and community palliative care. The collaboration has supported the hospice strategy of addressing inequity in palliative care access for people with dementia and heart failure. One GP has taken a leading role towards improving primary care training and education.
Conclusions The GP Fellowship Programme has improved patient management for patients within North East Essex and enhanced GP development. These skills will be cascaded to GP colleagues via a GP Community of Practice and formal GP education. Both posts have led to successful permanent recruitment in local primary care.
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