As well as offering tools and resources, organisations need to grow their capacity and capability to work in a truly evidence informed way.
Jointly with Health Education South West, we have developed a Fellowship programme to train GPs in how to access and use evidence and then work with each of our clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to support the growth of an evidence culture.
The programme represents an ambitious and innovative attempt to highlight the importance of evidence and evaluation in clinical commissioning and support its integration into routine activity.
Each CCG has one or two GP sessions per week of Fellowship time funded by the West of England AHSN and the CCG, in four of the seven CCGs. This is spread across 10 GP Clinical Evidence Fellows, who all share a common drive for professional development, a personal interest in applying evidence in practice, are keen to make a difference and are curious to find out how health commissioning really works.
The fellowship is now in its third year. The Clinical Evidence Fellows work from the CCG offices, and have commented on the significant difference in organisational culture from their GP practice: the open plan office, the ever-changing seating plan of ‘hot-desking’, commissioners tied up in meetings. It seems that the CCGs also are on a learning curve, of how to best use this precious clinical resource, particularly as searching for and reviewing evidence is not always a routine step in the process of service development. The Fellows are helping to change culture by being evidence champions and showing their value by applying their clinical knowledge to evidence reviews.
“For a relatively small amount of time and money a huge amount has been achieved professionally and personally and in CCG benefit.” CCG Service Improvement Lead
Three of our Fellows have linked up with the National Institute for Health Research Dissemination Centre (NIHR-DC) to help promote NIHR Signals which are summaries of the latest research from the NIHR and other health research organisations. Visit the NIHR website to find out which Signals most interested our Fellows and why they feel the findings are worth sharing. Their comments give some insight into what they experience in General Practice and how findings from research can help treatment and planning decisions.
The programme was evaluated in March 2016 during year two and a further evaluation was completed in June 2017 in year three. The evaluation reports can be found here:
- March 2016 evaluation – download the full report
- June 2017 evaluation:
For more information, contact Jo Bangoura, Evaluation & Commissioning Liaison Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GP Clinical Evidence Fellowship programme was created by Peter Brindle, Medical Director (Clinical Effectiveness) at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs and Martyn Hewett, Associate Post Graduate Dean, Severn Region, Health Education England in 2014. It is now run by the Commissioning Evidence-Informed Care team at the West of England AHSN team.
Pictured in the photograph are:
- Back row (L-R) Dr Phil Simons, Dr Ed Mann, Dr Francis Campbell, Dr Nick Snelling
- Front row (L-r) Dr Catherine Bennett, Dr Vanessa Dane, Dr Caroline Ward, Dr Farida Ahmad, Dr Bisola Ezboi