Did you know……how a PBSGL module goes from big idea to publication?

Did you know……how a PBSGL module goes from big idea to publication?

The process of module production has several stages. Every year the PBSGL members are invited to vote on topics for publication via the PBSGL survey. The survey offers a list of new topics, often up to 30, in addition to modules which are due to be retired (5 years post publication). The list is compiled from suggestions submitted via the member log sheet, previous highly rated, but not produced, topics and the occasional externally highlighted subject area. Members vote on these and the most popular topics are then prioritised for production (if this includes retired modules these will be completely re-written).


Once a new module has been identified the PBSGL production team set about recruiting writers to be involved. The team has an inter-professional pool of writers, all active members of PBSGL groups, who are canvassed for availability to write the module. Simultaneously, email invites are sent to the whole membership seeking participants for a focus group for the module.


The focus groups take place via WhatsApp and generate discussion about the learning needs of the grass roots practitioner in relation to the topic. The aim of this is to capture the most relevant, most useful content for the module. The focus group participants are active clinicians, not experts, as this generates learning needs most closely aligned with PBSGL members. The focus groups are run by the writers who subsequently have a debrief session with the module editor to decide on the types of cases to be included in the module.


Following this the writers undertake searches of the literature and resources on the topic, focussing in particular on the information relevant to the cases.  Objective, large scale reviews from reputable sources, such as NICE, SIGN, BMJ Best Practice are prioritised for these searches. The writers then produce the cases, information section and case commentaries and pass the first draft of the module to the editor.


The editor reviews the content, format and references and creates cohesion in the style and tone of the writing and may communicate back and forth with the writers until the final draft is complete. At this stage the module is sent to Primary Care and Specialist reviewers. They critically appraise the module, commenting on its alignment (or otherwise) with accepted best (usual) practice in the UK and the module may be altered on the basis of their feedback.


After this the production team invite existing PBSGL groups to volunteer to pilot the module. Feedback from the pilot group informs the content of the module and there is a further round of formatting and proof reading by the in-house PBSGL production team  Once this has been done the module is ready to be published and made available to the general membership.


All in all, the process of new module production takes approximately 6 months (3 months for writing and 3 months for reviewing, piloting and editing), however, this can vary in individual circumstances.


PBSGL module production is a robust process, informed by member priorities, shaped and created by members, underpinned by the best evidence and aligned with day to day practice. Even better than that, it creates opportunities for practitioners to learn together and connect, fostering peer support and, ultimately, improving patient care.