Primary Care Quality Initiative
It is a sad fact that for many of our more vulnerable patients, an unplanned visit to A&E is not an end to the matter and many return more than once before their health is restored. In some cases, particularly for the elderly, this can signal deterioration in general health which can prove difficult to address. However, earlier diagnosis of conditions, better communication between health professionals and focused support for those affected can reduce the need to visit the hospital and in many instances remove it all together.
Your local GP practices have teamed up to consider how this can be achieved and the Primary Care Quality Initiative prepares the ground ahead of more detailed plans being introduced throughout 2014. The following initiatives are being considered:
- Named GPs: For those patients that require a greater level of care, they will be allocated a ‘named doctor’. This will not restrict who they can see but it will provide that extra bit of support and reassurance where needed. This will also be the case for all patients over 75 years of age.
- Improved Communication: Although your GP is usually the first point of contact, they are of course supported by a host of clinicians including nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulance services and specialists, mostly not based at Richmond Medical Centre. We have considered how we might improve communication to ensure a more joined up approach to patient healthcare
- Identifying those in need: All of us will be unwell from time to time but for some, poor health is a constant challenge, many patients facing a range of conditions at the same time. It is difficult to be precise but it is a fact that some of our patients need to visit hospital on a more regular basis. In some cases, this is obvious but we are also keen to identify those patients where the risk of this seems high. Prevention is generally better than cure as they say!
- Feedback: I hope you will agree that we put a fair deal of effort into our annual survey but many have commented that we should seek feedback on an on-going basis, at the point of contact. ‘Would you recommend Richmond Medical Centre to your friends and family?’ will be added to next year’s survey and this will be asked more frequently in the practice. We would like to ask a second question and consideration has been given to this but what do you feel that question should be? Suggestions please.
Over the past couple of months, GPs and staff have met to consider the above. In fact, Richmond Medical Centre GPs had already met twice to consider the issue ahead of a meeting with five other local practices on Tuesday 18th March.
As mentioned above, the recent work has centred on preparation but I hope this further demonstrates our efforts to improve care and service to patients, in this instance, particularly the most vulnerable.
Richmond Medical Centre