Put the actual kettle on, join us for a virtual coffee

2 October 2020

Peter and I would like to invite you to join us on Tuesday morning for a virtual coffee morning. In more ordinary times the RCGP Cymru Wales team would be breaking open the good biscuits and the posh, though ethically sourced, tea and coffee. Unfortunately, in the current circumstances we must improvise via the medium of video conferencing.

The advantage is that you have the freedom to choose anything from your kitchen cupboard as your snack of choice.

I try to introduce the coffee morning with some humour because the truth is that there is not much to smile about on the horizon as we prepare for the worst and hope for the best during a second wave of COVID-19 on top of the regular winter pressures.

A lot has happened since our last members Q&A video session and we thought it would be a good opportunity to update you on some of the College’s work and the take any questions you may have. Clearly, there are a lot of unknowns and I hope that in this informal setting we can talk through some of the concerns and share ideas for how to resolve them.

We are keen to hear about your thoughts and experiences.

The virtual coffee morning will take place 11:30 - 12:30 on Tuesday 6 October. I do hope you’ll be able to join us. To do so, simply contact Nicolas Webb and he will send over the link you need ahead of the event.

If there are any specific topics you would like us to address include them in the email and we’ll do our best to cover everything.

Responding to concerns

We are aware that there continues to be some confusion among patients about new working practices in general practice and that at times this gets caught up in the politics over the proportion of consultations which should be taking place remotely.

The College has been at the forefront of providing comment and attempting to bring clarity to this issue, but work is also underway on a single clear position statement which will be applicable across the UK.

It will be stated that patients should receive the form of consultation which is most appropriate for their needs.

Pleasingly, in Wales we have had a consistency of messaging about general practice being open when our patients need it, but I do appreciate that this is not reaching everyone, and we will redouble our efforts.

Near campus care

The return of students to university has been in the news recently. This was never going to be an easy transition given the circumstances.

Peter and I are particularly keen to hear what the impact has been on general practice surgeries which serve high student population locations. Please let us know how you have found the experience of this strange start of term.

Post written by

Dr Mair Hopkin, Joint Chair of RCGP Wales

Dr Mair Hopkin qualified in 1980 and was a partner at the Old School Surgery in Pontyclun until 2019. She has served as Chair and Provost of the South East Wales Faculty, as well as being Faculty Representative to RCGP’s UK Council.

Mair has a keen interest in child development and children's and women’s health. She introduced a Well Baby clinic before it became part of the GP contract, and has co-authored a book on child health development in Wales. She has also developed an interest in medical education. She is currently an Associate Dean in the Wales Deanery.

She married a farmer and lived on a working farm for three decades. She has three children, one of whom is a GP, and four grandchildren. She is a Welsh learner.

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