Meeting Report – 8th October 2015

Summary of the meeting for Yorkshire and Humber GPs inspired by the Deep End Glasgow Project, 8th October 2015 Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract

meeting pic

Authors: Liz Walton & Tom Ratcliffe, 23rd November 2015

Health professionals met in October 2015 having been inspired by the Deep End Glasgow project, to discuss how the Yorkshire and Humber could replicate such a group with the ultimate aim of decreasing health inequity in our region.

Tom Ratcliffe was the driving force behind this initiative and set up the #progressivegp blog to share ideas prior to the meeting. Dom Patterson, Ben Jackson and Liz Walton have also supported the organisation, advertisement and write up the event through their roles at Health Education England and Sheffield University.

The meeting lasted 2 hours and included a welcome from Tom, a keynote from Professor Macleod and a group discussion facilitated by Liz.

Firstly, a little background about the 19 professionals who attended our first meeting:

  • 8 GP’s whose practice postcodes are classified as being within 100 most deprived of Yorkshire and Humber[1]
  • 7 were academics with interests in health inequalities: 1 Professor, 3 Deanery, 1 PhD Student, 1 Clinical Lecturer
  • 1 practice manager
  • 3 GPs whose practice postcode IMD scores were outside the most deprived 100 in YH. However, these GPs run specialist services for communities whose vulnerabilities perhaps are not captured by the practice postcode, as they serve patients who are homeless, seeking asylum or are from the travelling communities.
  • We also had expressions of interested from 3 other GPs working in Deep End practices according to their practice IMD score, but were not able to attend the evening meeting.
  • Number of attendees from each area of Yorkshire and Humber

(based on the clinical roles of the 11 GP’s. The 1 practice manager and 7 academics were excluded): 

  • Sheffield 5
  • Leeds 4
  • Bradford 1
  • Doncaster 1

GP’s interest in future meetings can be summarised as a desire to reduce health inequalities and the group could support them to do this through the following activities:

  1. Help with workforce and recruitment
  2. Educational sessions relevant to deep end work
  3. Provide a forum to share ideas on planning services & strategy
  4. Advocacy for communities and to develop networks for deep end practitioners
  5. Links with academic communities to evaluate the effect of interventions on inequalities
  6. Academic support for the group to gain funding, facilitate organisation and write up of sessions

How should the group be organised?

  • Possible Funding – HEYH, CCG, RCGP, White Rose Funding.
  • Education eg Gemma suggested using PLI events in Doncaster, 2x month, protected time. Could offer to facilitate sessions or invite expert speakers.
  • Use online resources – Website affiliated to Sheffield University, email, #Progressivegp blog.
  • Local groups may form with larger more central meetings 2-4 times a year, but all deep end GPs could be welcomed to events across the Yorkshire and Humber if the topic of the meeting was of interest to them.
  • Due to subject matter it is anticipated that the group would only be of interested to GPs working in the most deprived areas or who have a special interest in helping vulnerable and socially excluded groups and that Professor Watt should be consulted about using the Deep End identity for the group.

Professor Una Macleod Keynote:

Professor Macleod worked in Hesslewood as the group began and she was involved at the inception of the Deep End Project in Glasgow. She described the success of the Glasgow project being largely due to Professor Watt’s leadership; firstly through gaining funding from the Scottish Government and secondly by him being a powerful advocate for GPs working in the most deprived practices of Scotland. Professor Watt led the group but allowed space for the grass roots GPs to run the sessions in ways that were useful to their clinical practice and interests. Interestingly, workforce issues were not mentioned at a similar stage of the Glasgow group contrasting with this as a key theme at our meeting in Pontefract. Glasgow meetings were half or whole day events funded by the government with locum backfill; we mentioned how now even if we had the funding, locums may not be available. Glasgow is a compact city and trainees are often educated in leafy suburbs to work in deprived areas. Support and advocacy were the main goals of the Glasgow group.

Post meeting discussions

Several educational and networking opportunities have arisen from discussions:

  • To establish a health equity module for all specialist trainee GPs in Yorkshire and Humber
  • Pilot ST4 training in deep end practices
  • Explore the possibility of training placements within specialist services, replicating the Dublin model
  • Evaluation of the above projects and asses the impact of innovations upon the recruitment crisis for practices in deprived areas of Yorkshire and Humber.

We hope this will increase recruitment into Deep End practices and enable better understanding of the extra challenges Deep End GPs face. The vision is to turn Deep End practices in educational hubs and raise the status of GPs working with the most vulnerable patients.

Through links with the academic unit at Sheffield University we hope to develop a website for the group to share resources and also help with recruitment.

Finally, we aim to provide an opportunity for GPs working at the Deep End in Yorkshire and Humber to establish a network and influence NHS leaders in our region.

 Next steps: 

  1. We will contact Professor Watt to ask permission to use the Deep End identity
  2. Once we have our identity established, we will plan for a meeting in the Spring 2016
  3. Continue to collaborate with CCGs (Liz is attending Health Inequalities Steering Group on 12th Jan at Sheffield CCG) and Health Education England (Tom, Dom and Ben are working up innovative projects as above)
  4. Tom, Dom, Ben and Liz meeting in person in Sheffield and via Skype to finalise the above


[1] According to 2012 Index of Multiple Deprivation Scores cited online in National General Practice Profiles.

Presentations and hand outs – these can be obtained by contacting us or leaving a comment


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