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SPCR Fellow, Sara Muller, writes of her impressions at the SAPC conference this year

SAPC 2013 was jointly hosted by the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester, and the overall theme of the conference was “Making a Difference”, with an emphasis throughout the conference of quality. This was really appropriate, as the meeting coincided with the 65th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. We started with a plenary talk from Martin Roland on whether quality improvement has improved quality or undermined professional values. Plenaries continued through the meeting, with Stephen Dorrell discussing what primary care is, and Margaret Whitehead explaining how health services make a difference to health inequalities. On Day 3, Martin Marshall discussed embedding researchers in front line health services to develop a science of improvement. One of the most enjoyable sessions was the Dangerous Ideas Soapbox, where four ‘dangerous ideas’ were presented – the winner: having physiotherapist as the first point of contact in primary care for musculoskeletal conditions. This created a certain amount of debate, both in the room and on Twitter #sacpasm. The prize winning papers were excellent, really interesting to see some innovative methods of data collection – riding in ambulances to experience what really happens!

In addition to the academic work, we were treated to a lovely evening drinks reception at Nottingham Castle (complete with Robin Hood) and an excellent Bollywood themed conference dinner, where  we were given a lesson in how to dance – change the light bulb and pat the Labrador!

Sara Muller (NIHR SPCR Fellow)

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