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How rural Letham has improved access to healthcare services

Written by Steve Marriott on 07-Mar-2018 16:16:51

improved access in LethamLetham is a beautiful village in the heart of Angus, on the East coast of Scotland. It is a popular place to retire to, and almost 30% of the 3,100 people living there are over 66 years of age.

There is no GP practice, and patients register at one of eight different surgeries in the surrounding market towns. Forfar is the nearest, which is six miles away. Letham’s transport links are weak, making it difficult for many patients to visit their GP. Nurses were visiting patients at home because they were village bound, rather than housebound.

Improved access to healthcare services

A collaborative group developed plans for a nurse-led clinic in the village. Its aim was to improve support for local people with long-term health conditions. Patients would be able to visit the local clinic in their village instead of travelling to see their GP.

The nurses use Vision 360 to access patient records from the nearby GP practices. They can view and add to these shared patient records while they are with patients. Now, the nurses can see any patient in the village and know about their health history because they have sight of their medical records.

Dramatic results

Sharing patient records has enabled this innovative service. Nurses are seeing fewer patients at home. They are wasting less time travelling, releasing time for care:

  • Fewer home visits needed
  • Community nurses travel less
  • Smaller community caseloads
  • 50% reduction in district nurses needed
  • Improved access for patients

The benefits for the community nursing team include more efficient use of their time and a reduced caseload. A question in a recent survey asked if the nurses would go back to the old way of working. Not one of them said they would.

You can download the full case study from our website.

 Download the Letham case study

Topics: shared care, Saving time, Intelligent healthcare, record sharing, Wales


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