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Professor Dame Sally C.Davies spoke to invited guests and trainees about the significance of primary care research at a dinner to celebrate the School's renewal on 21 September. She illustrated research impact with examples from the School's contributions over the past nine years. The dinner was held at Somerville College, Oxford, after two guest lectures by Chris Ham (The King's Fund) and Graham Watt (Glasgow University).

Dame sally c davies emphasises the importance of primary care research

Dame Sally assured the audience of the NIHR's commitment to primary care research within the key areas of caring for the aged, antimicrobial resistance, multi-morbidity, patient safety, diabetes and obesity. Research in these areas, she said, was key to addressing the health needs of the nation in the future and she acknowledged the School for its contributions so far: influencing the development of NICE guidelines, engaging with government policy, and importantly, impacting on GP practices around the country.

Above: Dame Sally C. Davies, on the far table, and delegates at the SPCR dinner

The Heads of Departments and Training Leads were congratulated for developing a supportive and well led training programme and the many awards and prizes won by trainees nationally and internationally was noted. This exposure, the multidisciplinary support and networking available to trainees, she said, is instrumental in the future success of research programmes and their impact on primary care.

The guest lectures highlighted the issues and constraints affecting the NHS and implications for primary care research ‘W(h)ither the NHS’ (Chris Ham), and the seeming contradictions in academic primary care in ‘Is academic primary care an oxymoron?’ (Graham Watt).

Above: Trainees Rachel Ryves, Jane Vennik, Clare McDermott and Clare Oakland
Photographs by Clare McDermott 

Inspiring sessions were also held at the Annual Trainees’ Event on 21 and 22 September. They included contextualising and planning recruitment in primary care, the benefits of engaging with the media; publishing research via open access, facilitators and pathways to impact, qualitative research: reflections from the field, primary care databases, and balancing an academic career, life and clinical practice.

The School would like to thank the presenters for their engaging talks, and the Fellows Sarah Knowles, Paula Dhiman, Jeremy Howick, Sara Muller, Adam Geraghty, Sarah Rodgers and Helen Atherton for chairing the sessions.

view photographs from the guest lectures

It was a very well organised event, interactive, informing and inspiring. The speeches by the keynote speakers were very brilliant and thought-provoking and attendance by Dame Sally Davies was reassuring"