Telephone triage is increasingly being used as a means to access healthcare, our survey of 1,195 GPs, nurses and practice managers found. With questions targeted at understanding the attitudes of healthcare providers at the individual level as well as activity at the practice level, this survey provides an insight into the subjective experiences of healthcare providers as well as trends in access across general practice.
Over 56% of practices used some form of telephone triage, and this seemed to be considered a convenient and efficient way of providing healthcare with 95% of respondents rating it as either ‘moderately’ or ‘extremely’ successful. However, the quality of telephone triage provided could be called into question, with close to half of providers (48%) having received no training in telephone triage. Furthermore, 13% of respondents said receptionists without a medical background were involved and that a large handful of that group did so without any training in telephone triage or help from a nurse or doctor.
The report includes a foreword from Dr. James Kingsland, president of the National Association of Primary Care, commentary from practices managers as well members of representative bodies such as the British Medical Association to further shed insight on the statistical findings.
The ageing population means people have more complex health needs
GPs want longer appointments to treat patients with long-term, complex conditions, says the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Doctors would like the average consultation time between a patient and GP to be increased from 10 to 15 minutes.
People with minor ailments should be offered help via telephone or internet surgeries.
The Department of Health says GPs decide locally on consultation times.
The Royal College of General Practitioners represents over 38,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients.
We have telephone surgeries running every morning in my practice. Patients like them
Steve Field, chairman, Royal College of GPs
Their manifesto outlines some recommendations for the future of high quality care for patients, for whichever party is elected following this year’s general election.
The GPs’ manifesto says: “The ageing population means that more patients will have long-term and increasingly complex conditions. They will need more time with their GP to discuss their care and treatment options.”
Giving you advance notice that our conference this year will be the biggest and brightest yet! We are staging this event at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre where you not only have great views over the Clyde and City but complementary entrance to the fun science exhibits. The futuristic building mirrors BCS Health Scotland’s innovative and forward looking approach..
We have three themes this year which are quality, innovation, and efficiency.
Keynote speakers include:
Matthew Swindells, former CIO Connecting for Health, and chair BCS Health
Rikard Lovstrom from Sweden to talk about their National Patient Overview project and eHealth strategy
Dorothy Whittick from Canada talking about the Canadian Health Infoway national developments and a Wellness project in Alberta
Brian Robson from Scotland on the Quality theme and his experiences from the USA.
PRESENTATIONS INVITED – Do you have something interesting to present in one of our themes ?
Exhibitors are staging a social networking evening after the first day events so look out for a fun time as well as stimulating and thought provoking discussions.
If you would like to Exhibit please contact Neil Campbell using the contact form
NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!
An exciting new departure will be the ‘NHS Scotland eHealth Awards!’. These awards are given to winning NHS teams for three categories sponsored by BCS and Scottish Government, look out for an announcement in the next few weeks.
GPs under pressure to share the health files of patients
EXCLUSIVE: Helen Puttick, Health Correspondent
Published on 27 Feb 2010
Doctors fear confidential medical records belonging to millions of Scots could be accessed at thousands of computer terminals across the Scottish NHS.
GPs say they are coming under increasing pressure to release files containing patients’ medical histories to the wider health service and are so concerned they are to hold a special debate on the issue next month.
Patients’ representatives have also raised concerns and the Information Commissioner’s Office says there must be adequate safeguards to keep information secure.
The issue is being raised just weeks after it emerged a doctor accused of looking up confidential health information on the Prime Minister, the First Minister, and a series of other high-profile Scots will not be prosecuted.
In Scotland, a patient’s full medical record can currently be accessed only via computers at the GP practice where they are registered.
A few details, however, known as the emergency care summary, are available to authorised staff across NHS Scotland, including NHS 24 nurses and A&E departments. This covers any prescriptions the patient is taking and any allergic reactions to drugs.
Dr Anthea Martin
Senior Medical Adviser with Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland
Many people now search the web for health information
As the internet becomes more and more easily accessible it is perhaps inevitable that patients should try to self-diagnose.
In this week’s health opinion column Scrubbing Up, medical law expert Dr Anthea Martin warns doctors against dismissing all web-wise patients as ‘cyberchondriacs’.
Picture the scene. A man walks into a GP’s consultation room and the doctor’s eye is immediately drawn to a 10-page print-out in his hand.
The GP suspects the patient has spent hours researching all of his symptoms on the internet before arriving at the appointment, armed with his dossier of medical information.
Some GPs said they were frightened of losing control of the consultation and of the prospect of having to admit to their patient that they have read something they don’t understand
It’s possible he has diagnosed himself with anything ranging from a simple cold or flu to some exotic disease such as dengue fever.
So, what would be the GP’s initial reaction? Does she welcome the chance to discuss her patient’s health, or does a look of panic cross her face while she gazes anxiously at the clock wondering how long the consultation will take?