The inaugural FSRH Virtual conference
Date: 20 Dec 2020
Author: Dr Aimee Palace
Dr Aimee Palace GP and FSRH Events Committee member share's her experience of our FSRH Virtual clinical update conference.
I was very excited to be part of the inaugural FSRH virtual conference especially as I could watch from the comfort of my own home and did not need to set my alarm for 5am to get the first train to London! The conference programme promised a diverse line up of speakers and included relevant topics in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Covid19 pandemic.
My FSRH virtual conference highlights included Dr Sarah Hardman’s informative talk “FSRH Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) guidance 2020: What’s new & what’s next”, which discussed the latest CEU updates. I was pleased to hear the FSRH has decided to update the Progesterone only implant (POI) guidance on the POI insertion site. The updated guidance is now to insert over the triceps region.
Dr Nithya Ratnavelu’s practical talk “Spotting the signs of gynaecological cancer” was extremely relevant due to General Practice switching to a total telephone triage model and the national delay in cancer diagnoses, both due to the Covid19 pandemic. Dr Ratnavelu discussed how most women do not examine their genitalia and, therefore, if clinicians are managing patients on the telephone and not providing genital examinations, potential gynaecological cancer diagnoses may be delayed or missed.
In Rianna Raymond Williams’ enlightening talk “Things to consider when engaging black and minority communities in sexual health” examples of the healthcare inequalities of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) populations were discussed. For example, BAME women are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth compared to white women and the contraceptive patch only comes in a salmon colour and is, therefore, indiscrete on non-white skin tones. The talk prompted me to reflect on potential barriers for BAME populations in accessing services in General Practice, especially now services have been altered due to Covid19, and to consider how these barriers may be overcome.
Overall, I found the FSRH virtual to be a positive and enjoyable experience. The virtual platform was easy to navigate and attractively designed. One of the many benefits of a virtual conference is the flexibility to watch the presentations on-demand for the next three months.
I did miss not having the opportunity for face to face networking and the catering, as I had to make my own lunch! I hope future FSRH conferences can be a combination of online and face to face events. By the end of the event, I felt enthused, informed, and eager to improve the service delivered in General Practice. I will now return to General Practice to update my colleagues about the new POI insertion site, consider if our service is meeting the needs of our BAME population, and plan a quality improvement activity based on the practice gynaecology cancer detection rates. I now have several ideas of what to put in next year’s Personal Development Plan!