The cohort 3 Trailblazer fellows started their projects in October 2022 and will complete them in September 2023. You can find out more about them and their fellowship projects by clicking on the links below.
Dr Charlotte Burton
Much of my GP training was in a deprived inner-city area of Nottingham. The work was challenging due to the significant inequalities the patients faced, but I found it highly rewarding. When I achieved CCT in August 2020, I was keen to continue to work in a similar area and managed to get a salaried GP position at Aspley Medical Centre. My practice population is amongst the 10% most deprived areas nationally.
I heard about the Trailblazer fellowship at an Early Careers GP Conference and thought it sounded perfect. The scheme was designed to support early career GPs like me to work in deprived areas and included a self-designed project to focus on an un-met healthcare need to help benefit the patient population.
My project is aimed at increasing the uptake of cervical smears amongst my patients as I identified they are well below the national recommended target. In identifying the barriers my patients face, I hope to improve access and therefore health outcomes. I have always had a passion for women’s health and education, and I was able to incorporate both these elements into my project.
Alongside the project work, we have regular virtual national teaching on relevant health inequality related topics and local meetings with my fellow East Midlands Trailblazers and lovely mentors for peer support and troubleshooting.
The additional time and bursary funding the trailblazer fellowship has given me has allowed me to develop my personal skills, and I am pursuing coil fitting.
So far it has been a highly inspiring six months working with likely minded professionals, who are passionate at combating the rising inequalities in our population. I have thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship so far and cannot recommended it highly enough.
Dr Liz Kedge
I am a GP, a mum and a Trailblazer Fellow. I got my CCT in August 2021 and got a job in an area of Nottingham with a high index of deprivation. I was really pleased to hear about the Fellowship as I hoped that it would give me skills to manage the complex presentations of this interesting patient group, and help me run more to time!
I had also got quite interested in the menopause, after working at a training practice where one of the partners was very interested in HRT, and I was pleased that the study part of the fellowship would allow me to do some courses to consolidate and develop my knowledge. The other thing that I wanted to do was explore an interest in women’s health and the chance to get funding to do the FSRH and letters of competence for sub-cutaneous implants and intrauterine devices.
My project is comparing the use of HRT in my training practice (a wealthy area) with the use of HRT at my current practice, and trying to establish whether there is a difference in provision. I am also hoping to deliver some basic menopause education to other staff at the practice as it is a complicated area with many myths.
Has Trailblazer helped me run more to time? Well, yes and no – I now have more tools at my disposal to address a variety of problems and sometimes these help me to move the consultation on effectively. However, my greater awareness of the multiple barriers which can prevent people accessing care or engaging with chronic disease treatment has slowed things down a little bit, as I try to do a bit of a ‘social sort out’ at the same time. Hopefully in the long term this will save me time?!
I am really enjoying all the aspects of Trailblazer – the national and local lectures are really interesting and useful, the study budget is really liberating and the project is a chance to make a long-term difference to the health care my patients receive.
Dr Kunal Khushalbhai
I CCT’d in August 2022 and work as a salaried GP in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. I was interested in the Phoenix Trailblazer Fellowship as it offered an interesting way to gain variety from the usual clinical GP work and allowed me to gain knowledge, skills and a local and national networking opportunity focused around health inequality.
The fellowship has been very inspiring and thought provoking, allowing me to gain thoughtful insights into topics such as coastal, refugee and many more varied and interesting topics with a primary care health focus.
I thoroughly enjoy the national and local meet ups, and it is a great way to meet a wide variety of people and learn in a relaxed environment.
More specifically, I am working on a project looking into type 2 diabetes, working within a MDT and Wellbeing coaches to devise and deliver a patient education programme.
I feel I have learnt so much from the Phoenix Trailblazer Fellowship, which I can practically transfer to my patients as well broadening my own horizons.
Dr Seok Tan
I completed my GP training in 2022 and am working 6 sessions per week in Bridgeway Practice, Nottingham. I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the Nottingham Trailblazer Fellowship Program. One of the best aspects about the fellowship is the peer support and teaching sessions which have been an invaluable source of information for me as a clinician.
I am working on a project focusing on management of chronic pain. I find patients often come in requesting stronger analgesics but are unfamiliar with non-pharmaceutical management of chronic pain. Adding language barrier to the mix does not make it any easier. Therefore, I am hoping to create an information-friendly leaflet with appropriate translations to aid the patients’ understanding.
I am also planning to use this opportunity to obtain a diploma in British Society of Lifestyle Medicine – IBLM. The focus on evidenced-based clinical care to support patients in making lifestyle changes to improve management of their chronic diseases really intrigues me. I feel that this marries well with my Trailblazer project. I truly believe that as a GP, we are in a privileged position to learn, educate and motivate the public in leading a better and safer lifestyle.
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