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New learning community for primary care research

Dr Lisa Gibbons, GP and CRN SWP Primary Care Lead

Dr Lisa Gibbons, GP and Primary Care Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula has spent the last 18 months working on a new online community space to foster stronger working relationships and learning around research in primary care.

The Research and Quality Improvement Learning Community for Primary Care, a new space on NIHR Learn, was developed with support from the Primary Care specialty group and Tristan Regan-Marshall from NIHR Learn, and collaboration with colleagues from CRN Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula, Exeter University and the South West Academic Health Science Network with input from PACT (primary care early career group) and the RCGP WISE GP team.

The online community space, which launched last week, offers a rich portal for users to interact with colleagues from across the UK as well as access to a range of high quality resources and related training such as Good Clinical Practice (GCP).

Dr Gibbons said: “This is a really exciting new learning community which allows the growth and development of research and quality improvement. People can share research and quality improvement ideas, link up across the UK, develop themes and access a wide range of learning resources. For the first time these themes are brought together in a really powerful interactive community. There is so much potential - I am really looking forward to seeing how this evolves and grows.”

The Community has been designed to be inclusive, targeting all healthcare professionals with an interest in learning more or linking to clinical scholarship in primary care, the wider community and beyond. The Community allows these connections to be established from links between practices to trainee groups to regional collaborations/national discussions by capitalising on the social functionality of NIHR Learn. The Community forums are designed to allow for local and national discussions and provide a vehicle for the exploration of cross cutting themes such as:

  • Deep-end/area of social deprivation.
  • Primary Care Networks (PCN) at scale working.
  • GP and Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Trainees, Early Career Researchers.
  • Community research/social care.
  • Digital Solutions and Health Informatics.

A wealth of resources are provided across a variety of key themes, an example being Quality Improvement, with links to other key initiatives. This growing community is encouraged to share not only emerging ideas but relevant resources, with the functionality to upload directly to the platform, thereby establishing the Community as a platform which fosters collaboration and learning.