Factors affecting General Practice-Voluntary and Community Sector (VSC) collaboration to address health inequalities in deprived communities
PHE ePoster Library. Southby K. 09/13/16; 138009; 169
Kris Southby
Kris Southby
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Abstract IntroductionGeneral Practice (GP) in socio-economically deprived communities is under pressure to address patients' medical issues with a social dimension or arising from patients' social situations. Many GPs are ill-equipped to address such problems, repackaging them as 'medical' issues and treated with pharmacological interventions. A more holistic approach to primary care, linking the resources of GPs with voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations embedded in their communities, can yield benefits for individuals and health systems and is advocated by many clinicians and policy makers. This presentation reports on empirical research to describe factors positively and negatively affecting GP-VCS collaboration in deprived communities.Method The working relationship between pairs of GPs and VCS organisations was explored following a case-study approach. Qualitative interviews (n=18) and focus groups (n=1) were conducted with staff working across four GPs and their 'sister' VCS organisations. Participants were asked to describe the working relationship between organisations, important aspects to the collaboration, and areas for improvement. Analysis involved drawing out commonalities and differences regarding GP-VCS collaboration across respondents. ResultsA range of collaborative models between GPs and VCS organisations were described. Physical proximity, shared aims, and personal relationships were pivotal to effective collaboration. Other factors affecting collaboration included time, policy support/infrastructure, resources, leadership, working culture, and communication.ConclusionsEffective and sustainable GP-VCS collaborations do not occur spontaneously but require ongoing mutual investment. The findings help identify processes contributing to successful GP-VCS collaborations to address health inequalities in deprived communities. External funding details The research was funded by Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group.
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