Doctors In Deprivation Event

Doctors Working in Deprivation was the first event of its kind to be held in Greater Manchester and aimed to provide GPs with the opportunity to share best practice and clinical knowledge around the challenges they face.  There is a growing evidence base to show that health inequalities are hitting deprived communities. Those living in the poorest areas are facing a life expectancy over a decade shorter than those in most affluent areas. 

The free event, sponsored by Shared Health Foundation and Oglesby Charitable Trust, provided GPs with the chance to hear the latest developments in deprivation medicine from across the nation and find solutions to health inequalities and network with GPs.

 

Dr. Andrew Elliott of Hilltop Surgery in Oldham attended the event. His practice is part of Hope Citadel Healthcare, a community interest company, which has surgeries in four hard-pressed communities in Greater Manchester. It was set up with the aim of delivering health services to transform those communities and empower individuals in areas that were under-doctored.

He said: “A healthy life is something we all have the right to expect, but the outcomes for those living in deprived communities are strikingly different. Despite an awareness of this problem there is still work to be done on resolving it. A shift in how we deliver care as well as working with partners to tackle issues together is part of the approach at Hilltop Surgery and we are seeing a positive response to this.”

Many GPs do not stay at practices in deprived communities because of the challenges they face and under resourcing. Doctors Working in Deprivation is about providing support to those GPs so that they are able to do their jobs and stay in the areas that need them most.

A panel of keynote speakers were chosen for their expertise and research into healthcare in deprived communities and they shared their knowledge and findings of the disparate health outcomes between people from different socio-economic groups.

They included:

  • Professor Graham Watt, The Deep End Network, University of Glasgow
  • Alice Evans Director of Systems Change, Lankelly Chase Foundation
  • Dr Nigel Hewett, Medical Director at Pathway, healthcare for homeless people
  • Professor Jackie Hayden, CBE, Dean of Postgraduate Medical Studies at Health Education England

Professor Graham Watt, from the University of Glasgow, who coordinates General Practitioners at the Deep End in Scotland, said: “Recruitment and retention of GPs are becoming crisis issues as a result of pressures on and within practices, particularly in deprived areas. 

“The next generation of GPs are up for the challenge of working in deprived areas but need to know that they will be adequately resourced and supported. 

“Events like this are key to raising awareness about the issues and finding solutions.”

 

Doctors also had the opportunity to pitch ideas at the event that they think will help in the delivery of primary care. These will be assessed and the best ideas will be supported by Shared Health Foundation and developed.

There was also a series of workshops covering child exploitation, cancer guidelines, the reality of deprivation navigating the benefits system and supporting patients with diabetes.

 

For speakers presentations, network news and more please go to DocsInDep