GP online training course
Our charity supported the first ever research study to investigate APS diagnosis from the patients’ perspective. Published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, this pioneering analysis found that:
- On average, it takes three years for someone to be diagnosed with APS.
- Patients usually visited two consultants prior to diagnosis, but the maximum was nineteen.
- The average time a patient spent in hospital pre-diagnosis was ten days.
This process clearly needs speeding up as early diagnosis is critical in the successful treatment of APS. As General Practitioners (GPs) are usually the first point of contact for someone seeking a diagnosis, we asked our patients about their experiences at their GP’s surgery and learned that:
- While just 2% of patients were diagnosed with APS by their GP, 15% are solely under the long-term care of their GP for their condition.
- The majority of patients (58%) did not feel their GP was confident in treating APS and many echoed the sentiments of one patient who commented: “Despite eleven years after being first diagnosed, I still find my GP surgery to be uncomfortable and apprehensive in treating APS”.
- 37% of GPs had no knowledge of antiphospholipid syndrome.
Understandably, 99% of those surveyed said it was important for our charity to raise awareness of APS to GPs!
The challenge we faced was to identify the best way to educate and inform busy GPs but, after extensive research with other small medical charities and practising GPs, we are pleased to present the first Royal College of GPs eLearning course on antiphospholipid syndrome:
The charity funded the course which was developed by GPs working with our APS experts, under the guidance of the Royal College. The RCGP will host the course on their website for two years until March 2019. It takes 30 minutes to complete, is free to register and 0.5 Continuing Professional Developments points will be awarded on successful completion.
Naturally, we want to reach as many people as possible and the Royal College of GPs will promote the online course to its 52,000+ GP members, 9,000 GP Speciality Trainees and 30,000+ interested health practitioners, potentially reaching around 100,000 healthcare professionals.
Our charity is aiming to promote the training module to every GP practice via the regional Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Wales, NHS Scotland and GP education boards.
We are also asking for APS patients to help with this education campaign and have produced a GP flyer that you can download and take along to your GP the next time you visit:
Please do not make a specific appointment – they are busy people – or drop it into the surgery as it will probably end up in the bin! Just remember to take it along if you have reason to visit and ask your GP to take time to look at the APS online course and encourage practice partners to do the same.
If you would like to receive some flyers by post, please contact us and we'll get some sent out to you.