Making a major difference to patient care

It has been a tough last couple of months clinically, certainly down in Somerset, though I hear from so many around Severn that things are equally challenging. High demand from patients driven by genuine illness, many with respiratory infections that are lingering on (also affecting our teams) and many concerned about the delays in our hospital settings for their appointments and operations, alongside their concern over results. We have similar concerns with people who have tried to self-manage during the pandemic and now need our help. On top of a smaller primary care workforce, this is bound to create tension.

My hope is that we can benefit our patients in the South West but also look after ourselves as a team - hopefully the Severn faculty can help with both professional development, but also a variety of events that could help us all to relax and make a difference. I look forward to sharing stories and learning from you all over the next couple of years.

Supporting the faculty

I want to acknowledge the work of my predecessors and dedicated colleagues Kirsty Alexander and Matt Hoghton, who shared the chair role for three years and helped us as a faculty through the pandemic. Good humour, challenging thinking, and a shared passion for the importance of general practice were things that inspired me and other colleagues at a board level. Many thanks also to Martyn Hewett who I know many will know or are at least aware of in his HEE/deanery role, providing common sense, practicality and passion in supporting the local faculty. They have worked hard in roles they have done because they believe in general practice - these aren’t paid - so many thanks. You have all been inspirational, helpful and pragmatic at maintaining our faculty. 

Now the world is changing I hope we can build on the foundation Kirsty, Matt and Martyn created with Jennie Cox as Treasurer, Holly Hardy as Honorary Secretary, Pamela Curtis as Vice Chair - and of course working with our current Provost (the wise owl of the system) Jill Wilson, who continues to oversee things. 

If you have ideas about what we can do - please let any of the team know and we will discuss and see if we can make a difference. The Severn area is a great place to work, general practice is a great job - and we have so many colleagues who are great locally that it will be fun to work with everyone and make a major difference to patient care.

About the writer

Steve Holmes is Chair of the Severn faculty.

Information on how you can get involved in your area can be found in the Faculties section.