Congratulations to the University of Manchester's Sharon Spooner and co-authors Louise Laverty and Kath Checkland after receiving the RCGP Research Paper of the Year - Highly Commended Award, for their publication: The influence of training experiences on career intentions of the future GP workforce: a qualitative study of new GPs in England
The evidence presented here indicates a need to monitor and improve the balance between relevant learning opportunities and service provision during hospital training posts."
- Dr Sharon Spooner
The SPCR funded research 'An investigation of factors which are associated with successful transitions from GP Specialty Training Programmes to long-term careers in NHS general practice' explored the training experiences and perceptions of newly qualified GPs in order to better understand how their education, training, and early experiences of work influence their career paths. The study considered the aspirations and concerns that doctors have about their future careers. Researchers carried out individual and group (focus group) interviews with doctors in the later stages of their GP training and others who have recently started work as GPs. Topics covered included: experiences of GP work, dealing with pressure or uncertainty, achieving work-life balance, their feelings about working with colleagues, and their aspirations for their long-term careers.
GP training in the UK is highly rated, but this article demonstrates that there are gaps in knowledge, which hamper new GPs moving towards positions of responsibility, and there is potential for enhancing learning opportunities throughout the programme."
- Dr Sharon Spooner
The research concluded that in order to attract and retain GPs to primary care, doctors' early career experiences should be considered, and a coherent plan is needed to support their development and build confidence in NHS general practice as a professional and sustainable career choice.
Sharon Spooner commented "Most new GPs emerge from training with reasonable confidence in their clinical knowledge, but feel they need to consolidate this before undertaking additional roles that have not featured strongly in their training. Many are troubled by uncertainty and instability associated with traditional GP partnerships; exclusion from partnership meetings and awareness of challenging workloads and business risks add to their reticence."
"This study is part of growing evidence that, if training experiences, transitions from training to independent practice, and partnership responsibilities are left unchanged, the traditional model of GP partnerships may be incompatible with the preparation and personal priorities of rising generations of GPs."
"GP training in the UK is highly rated, but this article demonstrates that there are gaps in knowledge, which hamper new GPs moving towards positions of responsibility, and there is potential for enhancing learning opportunities throughout the programme."
‘Finally, growing opportunities for personalised, portfolio careers combined with a shift towards prioritisation of lifestyle choices may mean that the traditional model of GP partnerships may be unattractive to the next generation of GPs. This has important implications for the organisation of service delivery and primary care workforce planning.’
In addition, Dr Spooner was involved in developing the policy on Primary Care at the University of Manchester. The publication: On Primary Care: General Practice, Pharmacy, Workforce asks leading experts in three areas of the UK primary care sector to identify the challenges and opportunities facing policymakers today.
Bradley, L. K., Warwick-Giles, L., Checkland, K., Coleman, A., Schafheutle, E., Willis, S., Hindi, A., Jacobs, S., Astbury, J., Spooner, S., & Mcdermott, I. (2020). On Primary Care: General Practice, Pharmacy, Workforce. policy@manchester.
Dr Spooner was interviewed by the SPCR in 2018 where she spoke about her Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Award and earlier work.
This includes two SPCR studies: An investigation of the factors behind the training choices of junior doctors which result in inadequate recruitment to general practice careers (FACSTiM), and An investigation of factors which are associated with successful transitions from GP Specialty Training Programmes to long-term careers in NHS general practice (FIT2GP).
We would also like to congratulate Professor Chris Butler at the Nuffield Department for Primary Care and Health Sciences at the University of Oxford for winning the in the category "Clinical Research" and being the overall winner of the RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award.
The research, led by Prof Butler with colleagues from Cardiff University, King's College, London and from universities in Norway, Spain and the Netherlands, finds that a simple finger prick blood test can reduce antibiotic use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Commenting on the award, Professor Butler highlighted the importance of the public contributors to the success of the project, in particular the late Margaret Barnard: “Margaret made a wonderful contribution to the study, but sadly died from lung cancer during the course of the trial so was not alive to see the results or share in the recognition that this award brings. We want to recognise not only her contribution as an individual, but the importance of Patient and Public Involvement in the design and delivery of high-quality, clinically facing, primary care research.”
For more information on Prof Chris Butler's award, please see the press release.