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PCNs have been urged to hire a health inequality lead to fill the public health skill gap in primary care by chief medical officer for Manchester Local Care Organisations.
Speaking at Pulse PCN’s London forum, Dr Sohail Munshi, a GP and also senior clinical advisor to Nikki Kanani, suggested that PCNs should fill public health roles to close the skill gap in general practice.
Dr Munshi urged PCNs to hire a health inequality lead to bring that accreditation back into general practice.
He agreed that the spread of public health skills and accreditation are too ‘top heavy’, with many skilled professionals sitting in ICB and local council roles.
He said: ‘One of the things we need to do is reinvigorate the public health aspect to primary care, so that it does not sit so far away we consider it some else’s [problem].
‘My observation is that in most cities, the public health team do a phenomenal job in describing the problem, how bad it is and that it is getting worse. And primary care – and others in the NHS – will hear that and say ‘that’s interesting’ but it’s not us: social determinants of health account for 80% of the variation in health outcomes.
‘But the problem is that medical care, so access and experience, still account for 20%. That’s more than enough to be getting on with [in general practice].’
‘There are a lot of eLearning courses that staff can do for appraisal and revalidation, [but] the usual educational things will attract the usual people. One of the problems with general practice is that those practices that struggle to recruit the most are often the ones with the widest health inequalities in their population.’