Scotland's GP paediatric scholarship: an evaluation

Educ Prim Care. 2018 May;29(3):166-169. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2018.1427002. Epub 2018 Jan 23.

Abstract

In a previous publication we described the implementation and early evaluation of general practice paediatric scholarships in Scotland. We suggested that it was too early to be able to determine whether this significant investment will produce a return for Scotland in terms of enhanced roles in providing, leading or developing children's services in primary care or at the primary care/secondary care interface. This paper presents the results of a survey of the impact of the scholarship for the first six cohorts of the scholarship (119 General Practitioners). The response rate was 76%. Of the 90 respondents, almost half (44) have developed roles or areas of special paediatric interest either within or out with the practice, or in three cases both within and out with the practice. A total of 37 (43%) of those that continue to work within general practice reported that they have developed areas of special interest of benefit to the practice. Qualitative analysis of free text questions suggested that scholars had benefited from their experience in terms of increased confidence in dealing with child health problems, developing links with secondary care colleagues, and personal gain with respect to role development. What is already known in this area: Changes in GP Training have been suggested in order to provide a workforce that can meet the needs of infants, children and young people. Studies have shown a positive impact of paediatric trainees and GP trainees learning together. Little attention has however been given to the potential to support trained GPs to develop their expertise in child health. What this work adds: Early evaluation of the Scottish Paediatric Scholarship suggested a high degree of satisfaction. This more robust evaluation suggests that almost half (44/90 respondents) have developed roles or areas of special paediatric interest either within or out with the practice, or in three cases both within and out with the practice. Suggestions for future work in this area: A longer follow-up supported by more rigorous qualitative evaluation would be beneficial in understanding to what extent, and how scholars have played an enhanced role in providing, leading or developing children's services in primary care, and what role the scholarship has played in realising this. In addition an assessment of value for money would be important to ensure that the significant investment in the scholarship by NHS Scotland has had demonstrable impact. Ethical statement: As an evaluation of a focused CPD programme, ethical approval was not considered to be necessary.

Keywords: Primary Health Care; interface; paediatrics; secondary Care; vocational training.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • General Practitioners / education*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Scotland
  • Surveys and Questionnaires