Ultrasound has established itself as an indispensable technique in anaesthesia, A&E and ITU departments, alongside emergency pre-hospital assessment. However, as ultrasound becomes a requirement in medical training and doctors progress through junior hospital posts to general practice, we can expect to see a greater adoption of ultrasound in primary care as its applications become more widely known. This already growing appetite for POC ultrasound in this setting led to SonoSite running its first GP ultrasound course on Tuesday the 14th of November, following a pilot study earlier in the year. The new one-day training offers an introductory level overview of ultrasound’s potential in primary care, informed by feedback from GPs and tailored around the needs of their everyday practice.

The course was run by faculty members Richard Brindley, consultant sonographer at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, and Deanna Prendergast, consultant sonographer at Cannock Chase Hospital. The day was divided into three introductory presentations and discussions, each followed by a hands-on practical scanning session to consolidate their learning. The broad scope of general practice required a suitably varied course, and delegates kickstarted the day with a discussion on liver, spleen, pancreas and gallbladder pathology and the biliary tree. The second session focused on the kidney, bladder, prostate and testes, and the afternoon tackled hernias, lumps and bumps, and abdominal aortic aneurysms, with many GPs expressing a particular interest in scanning lower limbs for deep vein thromboses (DVTs).

The success of the course indicates the growing opportunities for ultrasound in primary care. Only last month, SonoSite joined FUJIFILM at the Innovations in Primary Care Conference on Wednesday the 22nd of November at 99 City Road Conference Centre, London. The event was organised and run by Salford Professional Development, Salford University, Manchester, and aimed to address the challenges faced by GPs as they cope with an ageing population with complex needs and respond to the demands of a seven-day NHS. SonoSite took the opportunity to talk with GPs visiting the stand and discuss the potential of ultrasound to inform diagnostics and treatment, particularly in musculoskeletal medicine.

It is exciting to anticipate the impact that ultrasound can have in primary care, and SonoSite is grateful for the chance to meet GPs at training courses and conferences. Gaining a better insight into how the company can support such a vital part of the NHS is essential to our ongoing commitment to developing point-of-care ultrasound and offering the very best to our customers.