In October 2016, a set of requirements for extended access was published. This was in response to the government's mandate to NHS England: "To ensure everyone has easier and more convenient access to GP services, including appointments at evenings and weekends."
A departmentalised and fragmented health service is inefficient. Information flows are weak and the patient experience suffers. Collaborative care (also known as integrated care and shared care) is a trend in healthcare reform. It can improve care in terms of quality, efficiency and the patient experience.
We're heading towards a perfect storm. We're living longer, which means more of us live with at least one long-term condition. We're putting more demand on NHS services, but the NHS is under increasing pressure, and there is a shortage of GPs. The situation is not sustainable. Something has to change, and we must reimagine general practice.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018. It offers protection and transparency around how organisations use personal data. How does this work within the context of healthcare? Do you need patient consent before you share medical records?
The NHS is changing. It has to if it is to offer sustainable care in the future. New models of care are emerging to meet our evolving healthcare needs:
I have hazy memories of going to see the family doctor as a child. I remember busy waiting rooms, the scent of hygiene, and secretive brown paper sleeves hiding the details of previous visits. After decades of computerisation, electronic records now replace the paper notes. But, is the clandestine sense of possession still there?
Over 22% of the UK population has at least one long-term condition. That's more than 15 million people with conditions that have no cure. Managing these patients' chronic diseases for the rest of their lives will be expensive. There's a human cost too. How does living with one or more long-term condition impact a patient's quality of life?
Most GP practices collaborate with local practices and other healthcare service providers. Sharing patient records can enhance or even enable collaborative healthcare services. We're talking about sharing the most sensitive personal information. How do you make sure you're only sharing what you need to, and only with the people who need to see it?
Interoperability is a peculiar word. It sounds like something that is expensive and complicated that demands advanced IT skills to put in place. In fact, it describes the biggest advantage of modern digital healthcare systems. Every healthcare service provider should embrace it. But what is it, and why do you need it?