The General Practice and Community Medical Education (GPCME) team were delighted to host colleagues from Third Sector Organisations for the first University of Aberdeen Seminar on Inequality and the Third Sector.
Patient Centred Care is a significant theme in the early years of the Primary Care Course and for some time the GP teaching team has been keen to establish a link with voluntary organisations. Link Workers will soon be working in every GP surgery in Aberdeen, linking NHS services with external services such as the Third Sector for the benefit of patients. In advance of this, the teaching team invited Third Sector organisations to meet with small groups of students to talk about their role, the work they do, and the people that they help.
Representatives from Alzheimers Scotland, HomeStart, Somebody Cares and Voluntary Service Aberdeen attended the information event at the university’s campus at Foresterhill, which was well received by students. Initial feedback suggests a significant increase in the level of knowledge of the third sector by the students, and there were a number of positive comments from the students -
“Each charity had an individual speciality, and I found it fascinating. Hearing what each of themcould offer to individuals in needs and what services are available. Absolutely brilliant session, and an eye opener of what other facilities are available to help those in need identified in a consultation”
Dr Shirley Laird, who was the lead in developing the session, was quoted in local media -“It’s quite new for universities to introduce this relationship with voluntary sectors so early on. This move helps to address the inequalities often present in healthcare, such as deprivation which can be a key determinant in your health.”
There is an intention to develop the session further for next year and also planning is well underway for an additional extracurricular session developed and hosted jointly with the University of Aberdeen Student GP Society.
Dr John McKeown
Head of Teaching GPCME Aberdeen University