GENERAL PRACTICE – data sharing between practices has positive outcomes. GPs provide valuable input into research for community projects

Posted 5 July 2013

The Academic General Practice Unit has a number of interesting research projects underway requiring input from GPs in South Western Sydney.  The Health Contribution Fund (HCF) has funded the Academic General Practice Unit to help examine diabetes care, employing data from the electronic practice based research network, with a focus on any relationship- to hospital admissions.

The Unit is also trialling an interdisciplinary undergraduate student team placed in various units ofFairfieldHospital. The team is working in tandem with the Fairfield Ambulatory, Community Health and Primary Care services to optimise care for patients enrolled in the SWLHD Connecting Care Program. Part of this is a multidisciplinary shared care clinic for patients with chronic disease that is being started in the GP Unit.

As well, there are two important studies being undertaken by members of the Unit which reflect community concerns in South Western Sydney. One is looking at the effects of immigration and the resettlement on the mental health of Sri Lankan Tamils inSydneyand another identifies the prevalence of mental health problems in the Vietnamese Community. The results of this research will help GPs to find associations between distress and population risk factors from traumatic experience, language barriers, isolation and education.

The unit is just completing a study funded by the Cancer Institute of NSW.  This joint project with the SWSLHD Cancer Services, the Ingham Institute and the South West Sydney Medicare Local has interviewed local GPs about how to better integrate cancer care locally.   The findings will lead to a number of practical projects to improve the cancer care pathway.

As Professor Siaw-Teng Liaw, the Director of the General Practice Unit says, “It is thanks to the GPs in the local health neighbourhood who have agreed to participate in these initiatives that will be of great benefit both to our patients and to research generally”..