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Twitter: @GPACFConf #GPACF20

This is the annual national conference for academic GPs in training

for ACFs, IPFs, DRFs, ACLs.

It is the major event each year to bring these groups together to present their research, to attend workshops and to hear keynote speakers. Day two will dovetail with South West SAPC (Society for Academic Primary Care).


Late comers wishing to register, please contact Nancy Horlick or Debbie Sharp

Overview of the conference, with thanks to the hosts, the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

The aim of this annual conference, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research, is to bring together all GP ACFs and other early career GP researchers on the academic track to share their research ideas and pilot results, and to hear from experts in the field on a variety of relevant research findings and methodological innovations.

Its overall aim to is to help develop skills for PhD and grant applications and to allow plenty of time for networking with colleagues from all over the UK.

Day 1

Day 1 of the 2020 conference, which is being hosted by the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care, will take place at the Watershed on Bristol’s waterfront and will include:

  • plenaries
  • parallel sessions
  • workshops
  • digital poster session
  • Dragons Den session for ST3 and ST4 ACFs planning a PhD application
  • debate.

A conference dinner will take place at the Riverstation restaurant.

Day 2

The second day will take place at the Bristol Hotel and join up with the regional meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care - South West SAPC 2020, also being hosted by the Centre for Academic Primary Care, where there will be the opportunity to hear more plenaries and participate in workshops. 

We are planning a green and paper-free event. All details of the programme, abstracts, map, and attendees’ details will be available on an app. We are currently finalising our plenary speakers, but the debate will focus on AI with Professor Roger Jones, editor of the British Journal of Genereal Practice, in the chair.

Professor Debbie Sharp at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, and organiser of the conference, said: “GP ACF conferences are a ’not to be missed’ annual event for early career research GPs. They are relatively small events and numbers will be capped at 100. This makes it easy to discuss papers and take part in workshop sessions, giving participants the opportunity to mingle with their colleagues enjoy hearing about their research. 


Wednesday, March 4 Room
09.00 - 9.30 W3 Coffee and registration
9.30 - 9.45 C3 Welcome: Debbie Sharp & Andrew Eynon Lewis
9.45 - 10.25 C3 Keynote: Professor Graham Watt

MAD - Making a Difference

10.25 - 10.45 W3 Refreshments
10.45 - 12.00


Parallel Oral Presentations:


1. Global Health Chair: Tom Pelly
10.45 - 11.00 - Kerran Kandola
11.00 - 11.15 - Kitty Worthing
11.15 - 11.30 - Katie Lawton
11.30 - 11.45 - Kathryn Dixon
11.45 - 12.00 - Anna Seeley


2. Clinical Decision Making Chair:Ruth Mears
10.45 - 11.00 - Stuart Stewart
11.00 - 11.15 - Emily Lyness
11.15 - 11.30 - Geraldine Murphy
11.30 - 11.45 - Sam Merriel
11.45 - 12.00 - Meriel Raymond


3. Mental Health Chair: Ian Bennett-Britton
10.45 - 11.00 - Jean-Pierre Laake
11.00 - 11.15 - Paula Houton
11.15 - 11.30 - Emily Donovan
11.30 - 11.45 - Helen McGeowan
11.45 - 12.00 - Victoria Silverwood

12.05 - 12.50



1. Dragons Den. Katrina Turner, Rupert Payne & Gene Feder


2. Getting Primary Care Research Published. Roger Jones


3. Patient and Public Involvement Julie Clayton & Victoria Wilson

12.55 - 13.35 W3 Lunch
13.40 - 14.55

Parallel Oral Presentations:


1. Care of Older People Chair:Lucy Pocock
13.40-13.55 - Ebrahim Mulla
13.55-14.10 - Michael Naughton
14.10-14.25 - Emily Brown
14.25-14.40 - Catherine Hynes
Session finishes early


2. Cardiovascular and Lifestyle Medicine Chair: Rachel Johnson
13.40-13.55 - Ruth Mears
13.55-14.10 - Laura Heath
14.10-14.25 - Nadeem Ahmed
14.25-14.40 - Lauren Taylor
14.40-14.55 - Sam Hodgson


3. The New Primary Care Workforce Chair: Matthew Booker
13.40-13.55 - Olivia Jagger
13.55-14.10 - Richard Mayne
14.10-14.25 - Judit Konya
14.25-14.40 - Emma Ladds
14.40-14.55 - Nigel Hunt

15.00 - 15.35 C3 Digital poster session
Chair: Polly Duncan & Sam Merriel
15.40 - 16.00 W3 Refreshments
16.00 - 17.00 C3

'This house believes that GPs should make use of AI based tools for diagnosis and also encourage their patients to use them'. 
Dr Murphy (against) and Jason Maude (for)
Chair: Roger Jones 

17.15 - 18.15



Mindfulness for busy people. Zoe Pither


Breath-Body-Mind integration: Self-regulation skills for clinicians. Kate Binnie


Sporting activity (walk/run)

17.15 - 18.15 W3 or bar Training leads meeting
19.30 for 20.00 The Riverstation Drinks, dinner, prizegiving and closing comments
Thursday, March 5
9.00 - 10.30 Workshops with SW SAPC:
1. Twitter
2. Breathworks
3. Teaching
4. Digital health
10.30 - 11.00 Refreshments
11.05 - 11.45

Keynote: Sir Sam Everington 

11.50 - 12.50

Parallel oral presentations:
1. Access and equity
2. Cancer
3. Education
4. Diagnosis 

12.50-13.30 Lunch




WEDNESDAY 12.05 - 12.50


This will be an interactive workshop, with plenty of Q&A and discussion. Important preliminaries such as the choice of journal, pre-submission enquiries and questions about Open Access will be followed by a description of the characteristics of good (and bad) papers and ways to maximise your chances of acceptance. Using the British Journal of General Practice as an example, you will find out about how academic editing works and the kinds of issues that affect editors in their application of the peer review process and their decisions on acceptance or rejection of papers.

Roger Jones, BJGP Editor

Seeing things differently: growing and shaping your research ideas with public involvement

Julie Clayton and Victoria Wilson


The following workshops are part of the South West regional meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) programme. Workshop places are limited, so please book early using the links below to avoid disappointment.

All workshops will take place on Thursday 5th March 2020 from 9.15 to 10.45
at The Bristol Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol, BS1 4QF

Please note: Information about additional workshops will be made available shortly.

Please book early to secure a place.

Thursday 9.00 - 10.30

Telling Stories About Breathlessness: using arts health approaches to help your GP listen!

Breathlessness is a clinical problem as important as pain. Breathlessness is a sensation affecting those living with chronic respiratory disease, obesity, heart disease and anxiety disorders. Patients describe the sensation of breathlessness as evoking the fear and dread of nearly drowning or having a plastic bag held over your face. A repetitive experience, (often invisible to others, who can’t help you anyway) of staring death in the face. Breathlessness disrupts the narratives of normal life. It slows you down. Isolates you. It shrinks your world. Yet most patients find breathlessness hard to describe and GPs often avoid asking about a symptom they can do nothing about. 

Over the last two years Penny and Malpass have collected over 80 letters written to the breath. The letters have helped patients explore their relationship to their breath and express their experience of breathlessness to themselves more easily. In this workshop, informed by ideas of narrative medicine, we now move forward to explore how this work can support patients to start talking to their GPs about breathlessness and support GP’s to keep asking about a symptom for which medicine can do little about.

This workshop is exploratory and intended to provoke lively discussion and potentially help inform the development of a future research bid. We will suggest how the use of arts health approaches could potentially support patient-GP conversations about breathlessness and will ask participants to consider the value of including ‘letters to the breath’ in patient electronic records.


To deliver an inter-disciplinary workshop that informs practice, ignites the clinical imagination and supports the development of a future grant.


  1. Explore with the audience how GPs can engage with the findings from an arts health project. exploring patient accounts/stories of living with breathlessness.
  2. Explore the barriers to communicating about breathlessness in primary care.
  3. Using role-play techniques, explore workshop participants views on embedding arts health project outcomes within the GP consultation.

Expected outcomes:

Clinical participants will leave the workshop more aware of the therapeutic value in asking their patients about breathlessness.  All participants will see an exemplar of arts health methods and how this approach can be used for public engagement activity as well as a research method. All participants will understand the symptom of breathlessness from a narrative medicine perspective and have had fun (we hope) along the way. 

Alice Malpass, Elspeth Penny, Gene Feder - Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

Book a place

Exploring the challenges associated with promoting and encouraging real world use of a new digital health intervention

As academics we often develop novel interventions with the intention that they will be used within the health and social care system, either locally or more widely.  In order for these interventions to have an effect, the target users must engage with them.  Gaining this engagement with digital interventions is more complex than simply writing a prescription or referring a patient for a particular treatment.  This workshop will give members of the academic primary care community the opportunity to explore the multi-faceted approach required to ensure maximum uptake and develop the tools needed to ensure their own interventions engage as many users as possible.

For the workshop the Care Companion which will be used as a case study. The Care Companion is a free online resource which provides information, advice and guidance to help people with caring responsibilities care more effectively.  It is designed to support the carer’s well-being as well as that of the person they care for.  The Care Companion has been co-created over a period of five years by a panel of carers, with teams from the NHS, local authorities, charities and academics.  It has been available for use by carers across our local region for just over a year


To develop an understanding of the practical considerations and challenges associated with engaging users with a newly developed digital health intervention.


  1. To identify the target population for a new intervention
  2. To identify ways to engage with the target population and how to maximise them
  3. To develop an awareness of potential barriers to engagement and how to address them

Expected outcomes:

Workshop participants will leave with an understanding of real life challenges of engaging users with a new digital intervention.  They will also be equipped with a range of strategies to address these issues and maximise uptake. 

Emma Scott, Ronni Nanton, Celia Bernstein - Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick.

Book a place

How to Win at Twitter

Twitter is an increasingly important platform for building your reputation, finding collaborators and discovering what other people are doing. It has become the social media platform of choice for the academic community, and this is no less true for primary care academics.


This workshop is aimed at people who have a Twitter account but who feel they aren’t making the most of it. While it does cover the basics, like what a hashtag is, it’s designed to help people take more confident steps in developing their Twitter presence and get the most value out of their use of the platform.


This course will teach you:

  1. The basics of managing and enhancing your Twitter account
  2. How to find people tweeting on things that interest you
  3. How to build your follower base
  4. How to reach more ‘influencers’ in your field when you tweet
  5. How to improve the reach of and engagement with your tweets

Expected outcomes:

Workshop participants will have more confidence using twitter to build their reputation, find collaborators and discovering what other people are doing.

Participants need to have a Twitter account to participate, and to bring along a phone, tablet or laptop to do the hands-on exercises.

Zoe Trinder-Widdess – NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West)

Book a place

Should education be fun? Exploring the use of educational games to stimulate learning in medical education

Children experience much of their early learning through play and social interaction. As they grow up learning becomes more structured and adult learning is traditionally more formal. The use of games for adult education can be seen as childish and, by this association, be unsuitable for adult learners. Is there any evidence that we should still use games as part of adult education and specifically in medical education?

Over the last six years Gloucestershire Academy (as part of University of Bristol) have developed a growing number of games to help undergraduate medical students learn, ranging from simple card and board games to more complex technological games. We have also been collecting our own data and collating the literature on the effectiveness of educational games.


This workshop will present an overview of this work and the evidence supporting the use of games in medical education. There will be an opportunity to play the games we have developed. From our experience, we will give ideas on how to structure games and avoid pitfalls in design to maximise learning. There will also be an opportunity to discuss your own potential education games that you may wish to develop.  


  1. To establish an understanding of what an educational game is.
  2. To exhibit the various formats that education games can take.
  3. To explore the evidence for educational games as a teaching tool.
  4. To demonstrate our approach for developing educational games.
  5. To generate as a group, ideas for educational games that participants could use in their own workplaces.

Expected outcomes:

Workshop participants will feel knowledgeable not only in the evidence for educational games but also how to construct a game of their own.

Adam McDermott (Academic Clinical Fellow in Primary Care) and Gloucestershire Academy (University of Bristol)

Book a place

REGistration is now closed

Late comers wishing to register, please contact Nancy Horlick or Debbie Sharp


The GP ACF conference runs for 1.5  days only and the second morning (5th March) dovetails with SW SAPC. However, registration options include SW SAPC for Thurs pm.  

NB: if you are attending SW SAPC conference on Friday, 6th March, you will need to register for that separately.


The online shop allows you to register for:

Option 1 - register for 2 full days

Two full days includes 1.5 days full delegate at GP ACF conference plus Thursday, 5th March, afternoon at SW SAPC.


Option 2 - register for 1.5 days

1.5 days includes 1.5 days full delegate at the GP ACF conference 


Option 3 - register for 1 day at GP ACF (Wednesday, 4th March) only


Option 4 - register for 1 day Thursday, 5th March (morning at GP ACF and afternoon at SW SAPC)


Options 1 and 2 include the conference dinner.

Option 3 can be with or without conference dinner.



Wednesday March 4th at The Watershed, 1 Canons Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX.

Thursday March 5th at The Bristol Hotel, Prince Street, Bristol

The second day of the conference will join up with SW SAPC at the Bristol Hotel


(NB if you are also attending SW SAPC on Friday March 6 you will need to register separately)

Website: SW SAPC

Conference dinner

The conference dinner will be held on 4th March at The Riverstation restaurant, The Grove, Bristol, in the heart of

Bristol's historic dockside serving modern European and Mediterranean dishes made using local and seasonal ingredients where we will have a three course dinner with wine and entertainment.


Accommodation is not included in ticket prices so please arrange your own hotel booking if necessary.





Roger Jones has been Editor of the British Journal of General Practice since 2010. He has worked in clinical and academic general practice in Hampshire, Northumberland and London. From 1993-2010 he was Wolfson Professor of General Practice at Guy’s and St Thomas’s, later King’s College London, and a GP in Lambeth Walk, in south east London. His research interests have included gastrointestinal disorders, mental health, and medical education. He is founding President of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology in the UK and of the European Society for Primary Care Gastroenterology. He edited the OUP journal Family Practice from 1990-2004, and was Editor in Chief of the Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care. Roger was Provost of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ South London Faculty from 2013-2016,and Chair of the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund from 2013-2017.

Jason Maude

Jason Maude serves as Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Isabel Healthcare Ltd. Prior to co-founding Isabel Healthcare Ltd, Maude spent 12 years working in the finance and investment banking industry in Europe. In 1999, Maude’s three-year-old daughter, Isabel fell seriously ill as a result of a misdiagnosis. Isabel’s illness and experience inspired Maude to abandon his city career and create Isabel Healthcare which has developed machine learning based tools to help both clinicians with clinical reasoning and patients to get better informed about their possible diagnosis.

Dr Murphy

Dr Murphy (@DrMurphy11) - author of the @BadBadThreads

Professor Graham Watt

Graham Watt is Emeritus Professor, General Practice and Primary Care at the University of Glasgow where he was Norie Miller Professor of General Practice, University of Glasgow,1994-2016. He is a graduate of Aberdeen Medical School. He was elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, 2000, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2014 and awarded CBE, 2017.

He is the founder of General Practitioners at the Deep End, serving the 100 most deprived communities in Scotland, now followed by Deep End Projects in Ireland, Yorkshire/Humber and Greater Manchester. He is the  Author of The Exceptional Potential of General Practice, with 55 contributors from 11 countries; published December 2018. He was awarded Saltire Society Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award for Science 2018.

He is a Trustee, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), and Chair of Steering Group, Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance.

Drs Julie Clayton and Victoria Wilson

Julie Clayton and Victoria Wilson are coordinators for Patient & Public Involvement & Engagement at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol. Both have PhD's in biomedical research and have worked in science communication and audience engagement for many years prior to appointments with the University of Bristol, as coordinator for the Dementia Health Integration Team (Julie) and clinical trials manager (Victoria).

Dr Kate Binnie

Kate Binnie is a senior research associate at University of Bristol in the Centre for Academic Primary Care working on the Life of Breath project funded by the Wellcome Trust. Kate is an HCPC registered music psychotherapist.  . Kate is also a qualified yoga and mindfulness teacher (CPCAB). Kate delivers training workshops in Breath-Body-Mind integration (BBMi) for healthcare professionals These courses offer practical non-pharmacological tools to support patients and aim to increase HCP wellbeing and confidence to rely on themselves as a vital clinical tool.

Zoë Pither

Zoë Pither has practised meditation and yoga for over 15 years, and teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction courses for the general public and for students at Bristol University, as well as regular classes and workshops in the city. She is currently studying MSc Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Health & Wellbeing at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice, Bangor University. Zoe has over 20 years’ experience in personal development, training and coaching alongside her personal practise. She is committed to making the benefits of empirically underpinned mindfulness-based approaches accessible across all economic, social, religious and political orientations. For more information see