EPCCS Council meeting: fruitful exchange on how to expand the EPCCS network
Representatives of most of the 24 countries now involved in the EPCCS Council gathered in Lisbon, Portugal, prior to the 11th Annual Scientific Meeting/CV Summit. Newcomer this year is Sweden. The aim of the meeting was to review how plans formulated during previous meetings could be further implemented, and to explore whether other initiatives should be started.
The organizational model of EPCCS is such that the Board implements what the Council recommends, and ultimately what the EPCCS members indicate to be important as support. The Council feeds ideas to the Board, with Council meetings at least once a year and continued digital interaction throughout the year. The interaction between members and country representatives in the Council can take many shapes, and here, there is always room for improvement.
Thus, it was discussed how to get more GP’s involved and in touch with their country representative in the Council. EPCCS Council members will spread the word about EPCCS during national meetings and events, with newsletters and through national associations. Different countries will likely follow different approaches. Other ambitions involve sending out a survey to GP’s across Europe, to raise awareness on EPCCS and to make an inventory of what practitioners need. This will help EPCCS to decide where we can help and what to focus efforts on.
In addition to the annual CV Summit, EPCCS is also present at specialist meetings such as EuroPrevent (organized by the European Society of Cardiology) and WONCA Europe.
New topics that may be covered in future EPCCS Guidance Documents or during the Annual CV Summit also came up during the meeting, how to manage patients with multimorbidity. Although the common perception is that little is known about how to deal with these complex patients in clinical practice, there is actually evidence about these people, as they are included in RCT’s. The problem is that it is often not presented, so it does not get enough attention. During this year’s Summit, a session is dedicated to discussing the challenges of managing patients with multimorbidity. We will likely elaborate more on this topic during future meetings.
Interest was expressed in a guidance document on management of vascular disease/coronary artery disease. Another challenge in practice how to deal with refugees and how to give them tools or resources to take charge of their CV risk, if there is no common language. Naturally, both financial and information resources that are available to these people, will vary per country.
Translations of the EPCCS Guidance documents will continue to be written and made available on the website. In addition, country representatives may provide other documents relevant to GP’s in their country, to be posted in the specific country sections on the website.
EPCCS is considering to offer online CME-modules, and will look into the possibility of accreditation by national accreditation bodies. The objective is to offer multiple short video’s with questions that can be combined to add up to an hour of CME, to obtain 1 point.
In summary; the EPCCS Council is ambitious and motivated to strengthen the network of European GP’s. Register as an EPCCS member if you haven’t done so already to stay up-to-date on our activities.