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The UK's primary care sustainability network

How a trainee’s QIP can help your practice achieve awards

5th January 2021
At first glance, there may not seem to be much in common between climate change and the GP training ePortfolio.

At first glance, there may not seem to be much in common between climate change and the GP training ePortfolio. On deeper inspection however – both are time-critical, awash with targets and quotas and, most importantly, both are lurking ever present at the edge of my consciousness, threatening at any moment to overwhelm me with their scale.

Fortunately, the universe has chosen my educational supervisor well and, in a time-efficient move that any GP or future GP would be proud of, Dr Abi Fry and I have resolved to combine the two and make the leadership and quality-improvement components of my ePortfolio all about sustainability.

Over the next few months, Honey has asked us to write a blog about our efforts, in the hope of inspiring other trainees and their trainers to consider a similar approach.

It can seem pretty daunting trying to come up with a meaningful Quality Improvement Project (QIP) at the same time as everything else you’re expected to learn in your GP registrar year; from knowing what to do with an elevated B12, to remembering what nasal sprays are available over the counter.

We have been using the Green Impact for Health toolkit to help give us some inspiration and are currently working towards the Silver award. The great thing about the toolkit is that it’s full to bursting with ready-made projects as well as providing a community for sharing ideas on how best to undertake them. What’s more, it’s often easier to talk about change as someone new to an organisation (especially someone on a fixed-term contract). And even if we don’t manage to achieve everything we set out to, at least we’ll hopefully make the environment more prominent in conversations in the practice.

We were pleasantly surprised at how much of the toolkit we’re already compliant with (credit to Abi’s green ethos) and have found that when the drive towards sustainability is presented positively – in terms of what we stand to gain, rather than what we have to give up – people are very keen to take up the challenge.

Our first undertaking is going to be trying to come up with a plan for identifying and supporting those at risk of fuel poverty – we’ll let you know how we go!

Dr James Pumphrey, GP Registrar

Dr Abigail Fry, GP