People say continuity is good
It improves patient outcome
It improves patient satisfaction
It improves job satisfaction
But it is getting harder for patients to see their preferred GP (1)
Triage may seem like it helps by reducing face to face consultations.
But it spends scarce medical time on telephoning patients and trying to make a safe judgement without being able to examine them.
Triage systems stop patients from learning to decide for themselves if they are ill
And triage increases workload
“People who received a [telephone] call from their GP or nurse made significantly more contacts with health professionals at the GP surgery over the following 28 days” (2).
People behave how you treat them
Treat patients as intelligent partners in keeping themselves healthy and they only come to us when they can’t solve problems themselves.
Medical care starts in their heads before they even decide if they need to see us
Dependent consumers who are not trusted to make decisions will learn to demand more time and seek help just in case they need it rather than when they need it.
And it works in practice
At Milton we have trusted patients to decide when they need to see us and on average a doctor sees 24 patients a day (including extras), takes 4 phone calls a day and does a visit every other day.
They may have to wait and fit in with the times we are available but they say they are satisfied when they see us.
Some have even told us they have stayed in Milton so they could keep us as their GPs.
This has taken time and effort – especially with new patients – and there are always some busy days.
Come and join us
If this kind of General Practice interests you then you can try it first-hand because we are looking for a new GP to join us – email email@example.com for further details and to arrange a visit.