I am pleased to say that an enthusiastic and productive Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) committee meeting was held in Birmingham in May. Much time was spent finalising arrangements for our 2nd National Conference (pages 70–72), to which you are warmly invited.
The society is increasingly being invited to comment on or contribute to matters of importance to our specialty, such as practice-based commissioning guidance and GP with a Special Interest (GPwSI) accreditation. On this note, we strongly urge any GPwSIs in diabetes who have not yet joined the PCDS to do so.
Our GPwSI members already have a successful web forum (see below), and we are looking at the practicalities of developing such a venture for the whole membership so that all of you are better able to contribute to society opinions and activities.
‘We strongly urge any GPwSIs in diabetes who have not yet joined the PCDS to do so.’
A recurring theme of discussion at both our meetings this year, and at the recent Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference, has been the difficulty of finding support for high-quality research into aspects of diabetes management in primary care. There is undoubtedly a more deeply established tradition of research within hospitals than in our communities. There are some highly skilled and successful primary care researchers, but there is generally less support for them and communication between them. Indeed, the clinical intensity at which most of us in primary care work can leave research as an unachieved aspiration.
However, the PCDS may be in a useful position to bring together researchers in our field and raise their profile. As a modest start, we include a short questionnaire in this newsletter which we would like you to complete, even if you are not currently involved in research. We will report back in the next issue.
The GPwSI chat room
For information on and an application form for the internet chat room for GPwSIs in diabetes, please email email@example.com.
What the PCDS has done so far
- Co-ordination of a definitive set of guidelines for practice-based commissioning, working with the Department of Health and other interested parties.
- Liaison with other clinical and political groups in order to represent the needs of primary care professionals in all developments relating to the future of diabetes care.
- Launch of the PCDS National Conference. Attended by 400 delegates in 2005, it is hoped that this year’s mix of lectures and masterclasses will attract even greater numbers.
- Production of an ongoing newsletter, enhancing communication between the Society and its members.
- Creation of a Society website to enable people to sign up for membership and to act as a communication tool for primary healthcare providers.
- Establishment of a Society subsection for GPs with a Special Interest in diabetes.