Change from the Old School relieves the pressure

Nikki Sargent is Operations and Services Manager at Northcare, one of the original pilot sites for Health Care Home, she says while things aren’t every going to stop being busy, the model enables them to deal with the pressure better.

She said: “I came from a general practice that was old school and so I had GPs in tears not having time to do things and feeling the pressure. Healthcare will always be busy, how we better share the load is the important part, that’s where I find the value.

“Behind the scenes, it’s not always as easy as compared to a normal everyday system, but for patients and clinicians alike things move more smoothly. GPs seem happier that they have an opportunity to review patient care and deliver it in a way where they don’t have to always have face to face consults. Patients value the fact they can touch base using the technology they use in every other part of their lives.

“Rather than a 15-minute consult, if the issue takes a two-minute phone call to fix the capacity for GPs to deal with more is significantly improved compared to previous days.

“We’ve had some patients that openly admit that they like the old school way of seeing their GP and will move on, but we’ve more patients who rave about it and really do like it, saying things like: ‘I don’t need to go see my GP I can send him an email and he’ll respond’ and ‘I present to the practice and my nurse does my health plan rather than taking up the GP’s time.

“Leaning out the practice makes issues a lot more obvious, the non-lean way where you have a stock room piled high with expired stuff and you don’t know what’s in there so you’re ordering on top of what’s there. Financially there are major downfalls to that. For a practice It makes common sense, why waste when you don’t have to.

“With all these improvements for doctors, the environment is calmer. It’s not that they’re not under pressure because healthcare will always be busy no matter what you do, but I think that there’s a better plan in place so that they feel they can manage the business better.

“If you picked up some of our GPs and put them back into a non-Health Care Home practice I think their eyes would be open to the stresses that go with that model.”