Meet the team: Community of Practice Portadown #COPPortadown
GP Partner and Medical Adviser HSCB
Health and Social Care Board and Riverside Practice
- Northern Ireland
- Mrs Anita McCreesh
- Mr Raymond Anderson
- Mrs Helena Buchanan
What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
I hope to build bridges between different professional groups, especially Community Pharmacists (CPs) and General Practitioners (GPs) and create a community of supportive practitioners in Portadown, a town in Northern Ireland. I am keen to work with other interested stakeholders, including our local Southern Health and Social Care Trust and support our Integrated Care Partnership and GP Federation as it continues to grow. I hope to develop an environment that leads to a culture of trust and support of one another where opportunities may develop to find new ways of collaborative working through learning and sharing of ideas and possible resources. This group has the potential to set goals and explore ways to manage chronic disease by affiliating with our local community pharmacy colleagues. This is in keeping with Transforming Your Care (TYC) and more recently Delivering Together.
A colleague and local pharmacist Mr Raymond Anderson already has some experience of working in Integrated Care Partnership and has successfully piloted hypertension clinics in his community pharmacy setting making use of remote access to local GP practice computer system allowing patients to be monitored and treated in community on Saturdays as well as other weekdays. This could be an area to try and build upon having learnt from previous experience already.
Northern Ireland will hopefully introduce E-Prescribing in the next 3 years. In the future with E-Prescribing and better electronic communication between GPs and Community Pharmacy (CP) I expect the relationship between GP and CP to evolve and through the establishment of a community of practitioners now within a locality I hope to get a head start and be ready for early adoption of future ways of delivering healthcare together in community. I would also like to promote Q community within the primary care network in Northern Ireland and build relationships as well between primary and secondary care in the area through the Q network as well.
Below is a letter I have agreed to send out today and begin my journey with Q Exchange as I launch my idea. This will go to my GP peer group in the local town of Portadown as well as my local community pharmacy colleagues:
I have worked in Portadown for over 2 years as GP Principal in Riverside and have shared the stress and challenges providing ongoing primary care to the people in this area. For some time, I have been keen on approaching not only my GP colleagues in Portadown, but my community pharmacy (CP) colleagues in the local Portadown area, to gauge interest in the formation of a local community of Health Care Professionals. Such a mutually supportive and collaborative group could provide opportunity for joint learning, shared ideas and thinking and perhaps find new ways of working together both within and outside our own professional grouping for the benefit of our patients and ourselves and perhaps generate space for some creative and innovative thinking and action.
Ideally, I would like to extend this invite to local dentists and optometrists as well but I feel it might be better to start with joining General Practitioners (GP), Practice Based Pharmacists (PBP) and Community Pharmacists (CP) first. Maybe this could be discussed together?
My desire is to build stronger professional relationships, built on trust both within my own professional grouping in the area and extend outside of the group to pharmacists and maybe other professionals with time. I am conscious that with future advances in technology ahead especially with introduction of E-Prescribing, hopefully in 2021 and electronic messaging between GP and CP, the future landscape of how we work together is likely to change significantly. Some of you will know I have been supportive of the work of E-pharmacy through my role on the project board for e-prescribing working alongside GPC, BSO, HSCB, CPNI and other stakeholders. I am keen to get ahead of that curve now by building the kind of supportive professional relationships that will make E-prescribing and electronic communication much more effective and perhaps Portadown can lead the way regionally?
As a new member of Q community from January I have also a chance to compete for up to £30,000 funding for a “Peer Support” Programme. With or without winning this bid it would not alter my desire to push through my overarching goal of building that supportive local professional healthcare network that I have referred to above. It would however help to focus the aims and objectives for the year ahead if we were successful. If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Q or this bid for Q exchange that is open to me as a member of the group please check on the link below.
Recently, in my HSCB role and with the connections I have made with the local Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), I have had two conversations with local pharmacist Raymond Anderson. Raymond would share my outlook and would be keen to help me build a network with both GPs and local Community Pharmacists. We have had some conversations in the spirit of Transforming Your Care (TYC) about how we might attempt to move some chronic disease management out to community pharmacy and are keen to explore various ways in which this could be done.
If this Portadown Community of Healthcare Professionals is something that resonates with you, I would be interested to hear from you. Perhaps you have ideas of your own on how this may work and develop?
Below is an attached doodle poll of potential dates where we would hope to try and arrange some food and have a short introductory meeting to see what scope there might be in progressing this potential group. If you want to speak to me please feel free to do so. You can contact me or my business manager in Riverside Mrs Anita McCreesh. As we would like to have a first meeting before the summer please come back to me or Anita before 28th May 2018
I would be delighted to see and/or hear from any GP colleagues, local Community Pharmacists, Practice Based Pharmacists and any practice managers who would have an interest in this proposal.
With kindest regards to you and look forward to hearing from you.
How you can contribute
- Local support especially from secondary care colleagues
- Ideas of proven successful initiatives or collaboration between community pharmacists and GPs
- Ideas how to introduce Q to local professional groups
- Ways to influence and encourage collaborative working
- Suggestion of speaker who could be invited to future meeting of a group I get established help motivate
- Welcome Collaboration with HSCB, ICP, GP Federations, RCGP and other professional groups
- Other input from established Communities of Practice.
- Relationship building, developing Trust amongst professional groups