Improving GP care for teens educational DVD receives award recognition

GP and teenage patient
26 Sep 2011 11:39:00.000
PA 284/11

An educational DVD that will help medical students and trainee GPs to improve their consultations with teenage patients has been recognised at an awards ceremony that showcases innovation in the NHS.

The HEAR — Helping Establish Adolescent Rapport — project, led by Dr Dick Churchill, a senior lecturer at The University of Nottingham’s Medical School and a Nottinghamshire GP, was a finalist in this year’s Medipex NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase.

Dr Churchill said: “I am delighted that ‘HEAR’ has been shortlisted for this award. I developed the original idea as a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Adolescent Health Group, but it took several years to come to fruition, and it is only recently that we have started to develop a sequel. It’s great to hear about HEAR being used effectively in GP training around the country, and we have even had some interest internationally.”
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The project was conceived after Dr Churchill recognised that, while teenagers often find it difficult or embarrassing speaking to healthcare professionals about their concerns, medical students and trainee GPs rarely have the chance to ‘practice’ consulting with young people in real life. To address this, he devised a new educational DVD that would assist in training and, ultimately, help improve the care that teenage patients receive.

The original HEAR DVD contains video excerpts of a series of GP consultations with four teenagers presenting with different problems. It features three versions of each consultation — one illustrating some examples of common errors, the second demonstrating improved performance and the final one highlighting aspects of best practice. Additional clips provide feedback from the young people themselves and some specific instructional learning points.

The DVD provides a rich resource for trainee doctors, including those studying at The University of Nottingham’s Medical School, and is suitable for either individual study or as part of larger lectures.

The first version of the DVD was produced with funding from the Teenage Pregnancy Unit. Produced in collaboration with a group of GPs and young people in the East Midlands’, it was filmed at Chilwell Meadows Surgery in Chilwell, where Dr Churchill works as a GP. The work was conducted under the auspices of the RCGP Adolescent Health Group and saw around 800 copies of the DVD being distributed to GPs and health professionals nationally.

Following the success of the original DVD, there were calls for a sequel to focus on developing more sophisticated consultation skills for dealing with particularly sensitive issues such as mental health or sexual health problems. Financial support for HEAR-2 has been secured from the RCGP Adolescent Health Group and the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust with hopes that with more funding it could be sent out to GP practices across the Yorkshire, Humber and East Midlands Region and, potentially, be made available online.

Dr Churchill hopes that in the long term the DVD could help support GPs in lowering teenage pregnancy rates, detecting and treating mental health problems earlier, promoting positive long-term health behaviours and developing interventions in smoking and alcohol and drug misuse.

Dr Doug Black, Director of Commissioning Development for NHS Nottinghamshire County, said: “It’s great that such a useful and innovative tool has been recognised nationally. This support tool helps medical students and GP trainees prepare for the future so that they can provide excellent care for their patients.”
The DVD was a runner-up in the GP and Primary Care category of the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase, which aims to nurture the development and commercialisation of innovations and intellectual property from NHS organisations and staff.

The awards, now in their seventh year, also acknowledge and reward NHS staff whose ideas and innovations have led, or could lead to, significant improvements in healthcare delivery.

Dr Christine Johnson, Community Sub-Dean in the Division of Primary Care and one of the GPs appearing on the original HEAR DVD, represented the project team at a special awards ceremony held on Thursday September 22, where the team was amongst 25 finalists in five categories.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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More information is available from Dr Dick Churchill on +44 (0)7973 278 547,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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