#RCGPTogether during COVID-19

6 April 2020

Professor Michael Holmes applauds the collaboration and teamwork of colleagues and looks at what the College is doing to support wellbeing.

Vlog transcript

I'm a GP in Yorkshire and I'm one of the vice chairs at the RCGP with responsibility for membership. I just wanted to share my observations at the end of March 2020, just a few weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I'm seeing a phenomenal response from general practice. We've completely changed our access systems, moving to total triage, using both phone and video consultations. Patients are accessing practices using online portals. We're setting up hot sites to assess patients that could have COVID-19, and I'm seeing so much more collaboration across the total system.

I'm seeing such first-class teamwork within general practice, involving every single member of our teams, and as I look around the whole health and social care system, I'm genuinely inspired by what I see, especially from our hospital colleagues. They're doing such amazing work. So, one of the key issues for us as a profession is how we maintain the wellbeing of everyone in our teams during what is an unprecedented situation.

The Royal College of General Practitioners is committed to doing everything we can to support you. We've developed a wellbeing session on our COVID-19 resource hub, and our aim is that this will offer some guidance on wellbeing at multiple levels. They'll be support to look after ourselves and others who we work with, and links to resources and advice on how to keep active, to eat well, to manage stress, and to proactively look after our general mental health.

We'll also focus on what we can do as a team, modelling good behaviour, keeping in contact - albeit virtually - and setting up compassion circles. We will also signpost you to external resources that will enable individual and group coaching sessions, and also access to more intervention if required. Our aim is to do this in a personal way and for the RCGP to be there to support, not just members, but all GPs, and all members of the wider general practice team throughout this challenging situation.

We hope you find it useful and as always, your feedback is absolutely welcome. So, thank you for everything that you’re doing and stay safe.

Vlog discussion by 

Professor Michael Holmes, Vice Chair (membership and international)

Mike is a GP in Yorkshire and Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs with responsibility for membership and the international work of the College.

He has been a partner with the Haxby Group since 2002, caring for 50,000 patients in the cities of York and Hull, and part of the at scale NHS Collaborative. Mike is a Director of Nimbus Care Ltd, caring for 130,000 patients in York, and is working with all the practices to develop a Primary Care Home model of care.

Mike is also a general practitioner with a special interest (GPSI) in vasectomy, although half his practice time is in a leadership role, developing a multi-professional workforce.

He is a board member of the North Local Education and Training Board (LETB) and leads development of Advanced Clinical Practitioners and Physicians Associates for the Local Workforce Action Board. He is also RCGP Clinical Lead for their General Practice At Scale Programme.

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