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Pandemic Pandemonium and Primary Care Networks: Experiences of establishing primary care placements in a new medical school

Neden, Catherine A., Popoola, Adetutu, West, Jonty (2021) Pandemic Pandemonium and Primary Care Networks: Experiences of establishing primary care placements in a new medical school. In: AMEE Virtual conference 2021: Redefining Health Professions Toegether, 27-30 August 2021. (KAR id:92024)


Background: In 2018 five new medical schools were announced to support the expansion of the workforce. The Kent and Medway programme features early clinical placements in the community. These start in year one, structured as immersion weeks in Primary Care Networks. The KMMS school opened in September 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with all of its attendant challenges. We report on the challenges of selecting and establishing the placements in the newly established primary care networks (PCN). These offer a unique opportunity for medical students to learn about the provision of proactive personalised and co-ordinated multidisciplinary care at an early and formative stage in their careers. Over the course of the first year, multiple adjustments to the learning format were required including a move to blended learning.

Summary of Work Initial challenges included agreeing selection criteria for the PCNs before attending to the legal complexities of contracting and negotiating a service level agreement with the networks, addressing the needs of all stakeholders. Faculty development was conducted remotely. Challenges of the immersion weeks included compromises associated with lockdown restrictions, limited movement across organisations, social distancing and “shielding” students. Over the course of the immersion weeks, we moved to a blended format, navigating the challenges of recorded assessment presentations.

Summary of Results We will present a logic model evaluation of this first year of placements. This summarises the resources required, activities (aspects of implementation) as well as the outcomes. These are considered from the perspective of the school, the GP faculty and students.

Discussion and Conclusions Innovation in establishing a new medical school brings a unique set of challenges to negotiate. PCNs are contractual collaborations between practices (not legal entities), presenting a challenge for both contracting and quality evaluation. COVID-19 constraints compounded the complexities but offered a unique opportunity to observe multidisciplinary, cross organisation work at first hand in the delivery of the COVD vaccination programme. This balanced the change to a blended learning format.

Take Home Messages Flexibility is a key factor in the successful implementation of a new medical school programme involving a range of stakeholders, particularly during a pandemic.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled keywords: Primary Care, Undergraduate Medical Education
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R729 Types of medical practice > R729.5.G4 General practice
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Kent and Medway Medical School
Depositing User: Catherine Neden
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2021 20:41 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2021 13:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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