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Katie Barnett

Post CCT GP Fellow.



I love to write about my thoughts and broader experiences about General Practice, life and wellbeing. I have written about wellbeing, my experience with #LookingAfterYouToo and my experience at the RCGP Annual Conference for BJGP Life. I have an article due for publication in InnovAit about support plans for new GPs. My blog: contains many of my other general thoughts and pieces about things I have read that have inspired me to think differently or challenge my attitudes.

As part of my leadership fellowship I am involved in the Wellbeing Team at Haxby Group Practice, developing a strategy for providing support for the wellbeing of all staff across our organisation. I project manage ‘Yor Care Space’ : a virtual group setting for a 20 minute evidence based ‘care space’ that provides activities for people to promote learned optimism and build resilience in spite of the challenges that are often faced as part of our day to day roles. And I am spending some time looking at our clinical systems, particularly ‘tasks’ on systm1, and how we can make these more efficient to free up doctors time and allow them to feel more in control of their workload.



The majority of my ‘training’ has been on the job, working with people who have similar interests and learning from them, reading about my clinical interests and how to develop patient interactions that are meaningful and not just box ticking and protocol following. I tend to use my PDP time listening to podcasts or reading books about lifestyle medicine, mindfulness, resilience and health inequalities. I am fortunate to be in a role that has allowed me to develop leadership and quality improvement skills, including a conference with the NHS Improvement Academy and being part of the first NextGenerationGP programme in North Yorkshire and the Humber.


I am very interested in how we can gain more soft intelligence about what works in primary care. We know that relational care is vital, we know that patients prefer to feel like they are in control of their own destiny and we know that the majority of medicines aren’t taken as prescribed. This has led me down the route of lifestyle medicine and I have been working with my colleague to consider ways we could incorporate this into our practice in a way that will be meaningful for our patients, considering group consultations for conditions such as chronic pain as well as diabetes, heart failure etc, becoming an active practice and developing closer links with community groups that offer many activities that could be therapeutic for many of our patients. I am concerned that so much of our evidence base comes from trials in secondary care about drug therapies. I believe if we spent more time talking to patients and encouraging them to make a change we could reduce our prescription budgets immensely AND patients would feel better. I want to try to use my ‘wise’ skills for helping patients not diseases.



Watch Brene Browns vulnerability TedTalk and read ‘The Spirit Level’, ‘Find Your Why’ and ‘Half the Sky’. These were my catalyst for learning about the soft skills of change management and our greater role within society. They have changed my view of the world, my attitudes and my approach to life.

Learn about yourself, take time to know yourself and your values, and then make your decisions about training and other opportunities in line with this. Find a mentor or two, people you look up to and who are approachable to ask about the opportunities that may arise that you may be interested in. And most importantly – find your why, remember your why and if you lose sight of your why stop and come back to it.

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