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Episode 10- Laura Neilson

Season 1, Ep. 10

An interview with Dr Laura Neislon, Hope Citadel CIC.

As a medical student, just over 10 years ago, Laura saw ‘health being done badly’ and having a big impact on her friends and neighbours. Laura decided with a team of colleagues to set up her own GP service which was the founding of Hope Citadel. She is now responsible for running 9 GP surgeries across greater Manchester.

Show Notes

I was so excited about talking to Laura as I personally find her inspirational. Her dedication to the people in her community and team is heart-warming. Whenever I see Laura I leave with a feeling of belief that change can happen. Laura starts off our conversation by telling us what is so special about Hope Citadel and how it compares to normal general practice (3m30s). She shares her experiences working in one of the most deprived areas of the country (8m15m) and how important, particularly working in areas like hers, to be fantastic generalist (10m30s).

We discuss co-planning, patient centred care and bargaining (12mins) and how important primary care is in all of this. We also hear about focused care at Hope Citadel (14m45s) and how they are using their incredible focused care workers to help with some of their more complex patients.

‘If you go to outpatients are you going to see an SHO and is that worth half a day off work on a zero hour contract?’ (13mins)

Laura is rightly proud of her team and what they have created. She shares with me her insights into how she chooses her team at Hope Citadel (18m40s) and where this all sits in the bigger picture of Manchester and beyond (20m40m). We touch on the complexity of politics and the role of doctors and health professionals in speaking out about what we see (23mins). Laura tells us how she feels her voice has developed more validity over time (24m20s). Her confidence has increased with experience and she sees a huge value in working with one community over a long period of time to really understand the context and place.

Laura’s career so far has been anything but conventional. We discuss her courage of stepping off her medical career journey and choosing to do something to make a difference (26m40s). She says she wishes doctors were braver, but she admits that she is not sure if she knew then what she knows now whether she would have created Hope Citadel (30m30s). She describes her naivety as being really freeing and shares some of her lessons she has learnt along the way (32mins).

We discuss Laura’s faith (37mins), her family and friends (40m30s), and how these all play a part in making Laura who she is. Laura shares her insights on values, imagination and vision as part of all of this (38m20s). Despite all of this, Laura still finds time to have fun too (42mins). We discuss making time to relax, being bad at your hobbies and finding joy in the space you are working in.

Intro about Laura (1m45s)

Laura’s Best Book (50m45s)

Growing pains by Dr Mike Shooter

Genie question (48m10s)

Recommended reading- Harry Potter

‘If you do the right thing clinical outcomes will follow’ - Laura Neilson

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Episode 15- Julie Duodu and Lucy Carter

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Episode 14- Jonathon Tomlinson

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In this episode we catch up with Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, an amazing GP in Hackney. Jonathan fills us in with how he is getting on during the coronavirus crisis. He shares his experience working in a practice in one of the hardest hit areas for coronavirus in the UK (1min 40). He tells me how his team has acted quickly to manage the acute situation but also continues to support the long term conditions for many of his patients in the community.We talk about some of the many changes in primary care over the last few weeks (5min 40s). These include; phone and video consultations; losing the GP waiting room; sharing clinical decisions and talking more with colleagues. We discuss the effects of coronavirus on those people living in deprivation (10mins 10s) and Jonathon shares some experiences from his practice and his patients (11mins). Jonathan talks about the social determinants of health and the importance of prevention along with all the stuff we are seeing in the media at the moment like PPE (14mins 50s) .One of the things that GPs can do is advocacy and Jonathon was keen to discuss the work of Dr Rudolf Virchow 1821-1902 (19mins). Virchow is famous for saying that politics is nothing but medicine on a large scale and that our role as doctors is to show the link between social conditions and medical diseases (21mins). Jonathan explains why Virchow's message is particularly relevant at the moment. We explore the role of a GP in advocacy and coordination of a response to support those who are most in need and vulnerable. We discuss how much our job in primary care should include advocacy on behalf of our patients (26mins) and Jonathon offers some ideas for some steps clinicians can take forward to achieve this. Jonathon mentions collaboration, networks (e.g. The Deep End Network), treating long term conditions. We finish our conversation talking about the importance of caring for our patients (28m 55s), Jonathon shares his favourite book (32m 10s), and he tells us what his magic genie wish would be (34m 40s).Jonathon’s recommended BookLet Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee (photographs byphotographer Walker Evans)Other reading“Caring Effects” Julian Tudor-Hart and Paul Dieppe (mentioned at 30mins 50s)Jonathon’s excellent blogMy (Rachel's) favouritesIf you want to learn more about advocacy and Rudolf Virchow Jonathon has written lots about trauma informed care but this one will get you startedCoronavirus consulting and more about Jonathon’s experiences over the last few monthsYou can also find Jonathon on tweeting on being a GP and topics related our discussion @mellojonny