16 went to Qatar…

24 Feb

by Rebecca Morris, Research Fellow for General Practice theme in the Greater Manchester PSTRC

Qatar blog photo_Feb15_resized

Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to a British Council funded Researcher Links workshop in Doha, Qatar to discuss some shared research interests in long term condition management for both physical and mental health issues. The workshop was organised by Professor Karina Lovell (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care – Greater Manchester patient-centred care theme lead and Director of Research, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work) and Professor Richard Gray (Assistant Executive Director of Research and Professor of Health Services Research at Hamad Medical Corporation).

Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita with a diverse population made up of Qatari nationals (approximately 278,000 people) and an increasing migrant worker population (approximately 1.5 million people) from around the world. Whilst Arabic is the official language in Qatar, people also speak Urdu, English, Hindi, Tamil, Nepali and many other languages which creates challenges in the delivery of care.

The Primary Care system is also very different to the system in the UK, with the majority of people in Qatar opting to visit the Emergency Department instead of a GP equivalent. This poses many questions for some of the key patient safety issues that are a focus of our work in Greater Manchester PSTRC around medication safety, diagnostic opportunities and long term condition management.

We were a truly multi-disciplinary group with clinicians, social scientists, health services researchers and even an architect. This made for very interesting discussions about the different pieces of the jigsaw we all contribute to in developing patient-centred healthcare system.

The workshop had a mix of group sessions and presentations on a variety of topics including Patient and Public Involvement, Improvement Science, and the Qatar health system as well as a writing masterclass by Professor Roger Watson (Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Advanced Nursing). Bravely people also presented their research using the PechaKucha presentation style (a presentation is 20 pictures long and you have 20 seconds per picture- no slides, graphs or text allowed! It made for a memorable experience and an engaging move away from the classic PowerPoint presentation).

To end our brief time in Qatar, the British Embassy hosted a reception where all the participants of the workshop and members from local health organisations were able to share ideas and experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity, we learnt a lot from each other, had a lot of fun, did a lot of work and are now developing future applications together to explore some of the ideas that we generated in the workshop. Many thanks to everyone who was involved and organised it!

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