On the 9th -10th October our Education Programme Manager Sam Hobbs and HUK CEO Neil McClements attended the Best Practice Show at Birmingham’s NEC, the UK’s national event for general practice. With over 6,000 senior decision-makers and key influencers working within Primary and Secondary Care. This gave us the opportunity to get face to face with those responsible for shaping the future of Primary and Secondary Care and delivering on the next generation of general practice, through giving HUK a voice amongst these professions.
It was a real team effort; the show was extremely busy and we were grateful for the support of Roger Keyte (HUK Trustee) on Wednesday and Dagmara Karbowska (HUK Grants & Trusts Fundraising Officer) on Thursday. We were also joined for the entire show by our Venesection Best Practice Guideline co-authors Gerri Mortimer and Yvonne Francis. Having a full team on the stand meant we could talk to over 500 professionals.
This has had a massive impact on the Education Programme’s objectives for this quarter, raising HUKs profile, as a credible patient-focused, mission-driven organisation. We captured over 100 clinical stakeholders with the consent for us to contact them further to arrange training sessions in their local areas. The show enabled us to build relationships with GPs all over the UK, with the potential for many future training sessions to be booked and collaborations with GPs on GH focused projects.
It soon became apparent that there still is a real lack of knowledge about genetic haemochromatosis, with many professionals saying they had never even heard of it. On a more positive note, everyone we spoke to was genuinely interesting in GH and took on our advice and information packs for their department and practices including copies of the BSH guidelines. So much so that we had given out over 200 information packs within the first 4 hours of the show.
On the second day Sam Hobbs delivered a sought-after speaking slot to the assembled audience of over 50 healthcare professionals, covering key points around prevalence, genetics, symptoms, primary care investigations and pathways and ongoing management and treatment within Primary Care. This led to even more professionals visiting our stand with most questions being around family screening. This is an area we are routinely questioned about both from healthcare professionals and members of the public. Hopefully with the distribution of HUK resources and BSH guidelines, the family screening recommendations will be adhered to creating fewer issues for people living with iron overload.
Next week we will be visiting Liverpool for the annual RCGP Conference. Here we hope to make an equally successful impact and add to our growing database of key influencers for Primary and Secondary Care.