Managing emergencies in primary care: Does real-world simulation-based training have any lasting impact?
Journal: BMJ Simulation && Technology Enhanced Learning
General Practitioners (GPs) have a responsibility to provide prompt and effective care when attending to life threatening emergencies in their GP surgeries. Primary care staff undertake mandatory, annual basic life support training. However, most emergencies are peri-arrest situations, and this is an area where GPs lack confidence and competence [1, 2]. The importance of effective, early intervention in peri-arrest scenarios was highlighted by the NCEPOD report “Time to Intervene (2012)” . This report suggested that better early assessment and intervention may have prevented progression to cardiorespiratory arrest. GPs need to be equipped to manage ‘time critical’ emergencies, particularly as GP surgeries are deemed a place of safety and 999 ambulances can be redirected to other emergencies, thereby delaying transfer to secondary care for patients in GP settings.
In previous work, we demonstrated that GPs’ confidence in managing time critical emergencies was initially low, and significantly improved immediately after attending ‘real-world’, simulation based workshops . The value of real-world, in-house simulation based training has also been shown to increase “practical preparedness” in the context of resuscitation training (4). However, there is relatively little data regarding the long term value of simulation based training in primary care (5). In the current paper, we assessed whether our workshops had any longer-term benefit on participants’ confidence in managing emergencies and if it led to any changes in clinical practice.