Continuing Professional Development: "the means by which members of a professional organisation maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills, and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives"

The main reason that Sterling Medical Chambers was founded was to provide peer support for its members to prevent professional isolation. One way we achieve this is to hold regular Chambers meetings, at which we have frank and open discussion about any professional issues that are of concern.

To help our members prepare for their appraisal and revalidation, at these meetings we also report back and discuss significant events and interesting cases, do referral reviews and have occasional educational talks, usually by one of our members on an area of special interest. We have also developed a Patient Questionnaire that several members have now used, and we are developing formal feedback mechanisms from chambers member to GP practice and visa versa.

It is often the case that freelance GPs are out of the local "information loop". We try to ensure that our members are made aware of locally-organised educational meetings, be they in a GP practice, Harrogate District Hospital or the BMI Duchy private hospital, as well as drug company-sponsored meetings and CCG-organised TARGET afternoons.

We have close links with our local Appraisers who recognise the benefits of chambers working for freelance GPs and are enthusiastic about the concept.

Our Chambers Manager also has an important pastoral role in addition to her organisational responsibilities.

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