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Dr Trevor Thompson wins Kieran Sweeney Prize

Dr Trevor Thompson

31 March 2017

Dr Trevor Thompson, GP and Head of Teaching at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, has won the Royal College of General Practitioners' 2016 Kieran Sweeney Prize, a UK prize for medical writing by GPs.

Dr Thompson won the award for an essay entitled ‘Nature works – why don’t we?’ on how living systems can inform the design of effective primary care.

The essay is published in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) today.

Commenting on the award, Professor Roger Jones, Editor of the BJGP, said: "In his essay, Trevor looks to the design and function of living things, including their capacities for cooperation and self-renewal, for inspiration to redesign the delivery of primary care and to solve some of the problems of the NHS. He emphasises the inner resources possessed by patients, doctors and health systems to heal themselves and to regenerate, and sounds an optimistic note about the profession's ability to move on from its present troubles."

Dr Thompson said: "I never met Kieran but greatly enjoyed his writing, sensing a kindred spirit. And what a brilliant excuse this competition was to give time to a fascinating topic on the edge of medical academia. In this essay, I explore how health systems can exploit the design features, honed over billions of years, which render Nature efficient, beautiful and bountiful. It's biomimicry for beginners!"

About the Kieran Sweeney Prize

Professor Kieran Sweeney was a GP in Exeter who died in 2009 of mesothelioma. He applied ideas from philosophy, the arts, mathematics, business and social sciences to the care of his patients and the process of healthcare. He was also an accomplished medical writer. The Tamar Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners decided to honour his memory with a biennial prize, to be awarded in even years, for the best original article submitted by a practising GP.

Further information

‘Nature works – why don’t we?’: How living systems can inform the design of effective primary care by Trevor Thompson published in British Journal of General Practice, April 2017.

For more information about the Kieran Sweeney Prize, see the Royal College of General Practitioners website.

About Dr Trevor Thompson

About the Centre for Academic Primary Care

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