The GP Stories you almost missed – extended hours, on-site pharmacies, and more!
Opening hours and access has been one of the big stories in GP with evidence that growing numbers of patients aged 18-34 are more likely to go to A&E or Walk-In Centres than accessing services via their local surgery. Sunbury Practice in Surrey experienced patients queueing from as early as 6.45am in order to get a same-day appointment. Politicians have made various promises about improving access to GP including seven-day access, however, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that patients would rather have extended hours on weekdays than appointments available at weekends.
There are lots of innovative ideas about improving services for patients. Homeless charity, Porchlight, has set up a new GP Link Service allowing them to liaise with patients’ GPs and other services to help prevent homelessness with the added benefit of improving their overall health and mental health.
The NHS has announced incentives for GP Practices to set up on-site pharmacies as a way to relieve the burden on GPs, provide a better service for patients and cut waste in medicines.
If you are advising a patient to lose weight, it’s worth bearing in mind a recent poll carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health which found patients were much less likely to follow advice regarding losing weight, healthy eating and exercise from health professionals they perceived as being overweight or obese.
And finally, the leaflet produced by a practice in Devon aimed at directing patients to more appropriate services which was initially condemned by NHS England is to be used as a template for other practices in the area.
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