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:
Letham 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.
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?
The new NHS models of care and a shortage of GPs are forcing a fresh approach to healthcare service design. GP networks throughout the UK are introducing federated healthcare services to share resources. Using interoperable IT systems to share patient records is one of the secrets of success. What else must GP networks consider?