Doublespeak and doublethink – the 5YFV review

Forgive me for thinking I’d woken up yesterday in 1984 when the headline ran, “Waits for routine operations will increase from 18 weeks in order to enable improvements in other areas…” Everything in this sentence shouts what is wrong with NHS leadership thinking.  To a patient, operations aren’t urgent/routine:  they are what they need, with […]

Continuity matters. Here’s how.

Barely a month goes by without a new study on the benefits of relational continuity in primary care.  BMJ in Feb “Continuity of primary care and hospital admissions” concluding “An increase of 0.2 in the usual provider of care index for all patients was associated with a 6.22% reduction in admissions for ACS conditions”. In […]

Something to aim at

I’m just back from my first ever parkrun, and what a phenomenon it is.  If you haven’t done one of these 5km runs near you at 9 on a Saturday morning, give it a go – you don’t even have to run. One of the joys is that you are doing it with hundreds of […]

FMLM Belfast conference, Riverside Portadown

Presented at FMLM Belfast conference, 9 March 2017.  Download pdf here At this largely secondary care event, it was an honour to be awarded runner up.

4/5 hospitals need to improve. And the other one?

Couple of mornings ago I was just enjoying my porridge when the Today programme told me that four out of five hospitals need to improve!  Spluttering, I had to leave the porridge to cool while I took to Twitter. No, it’s not the four I’m worried about, but the other one which presumably thinks it doesn’t […]

Dutch study shows 12% demand reduction

“When the Facts Change, I Change My Mind. What Do You Do, Sir?”  There’s a lengthy discussion on who said it first, perhaps not Keynes or Churchill, but never mind. I’ve been saying that there is no evidence of patients being diverted from seeing their GP through online help, and now that’s changed. Our evidence […]

Should patients be heard but not seen?

Dealing as I do with GPs week after week I admit to a twinge of envy that I will never personally be able to help a patient as a doctor, while they get the privilege every day. But we get a little something from the feedback patients leave on askmyGP, and I wanted to share […]

An Empty Waiting Room – What’s Not To Like?

“A year ago in February 2016 we took the plunge and embarked on GP Access. The time between making that decision and going live was barely 4 weeks, but in that time Harry and his team analysed our data, gave us information about staffing levels, leaflets and publicity for our patients and training for staff. Since […]

Beware, Mr Trump

Dear Mr Trump, I get your sense of terror towards all those out groups like women, liberals, Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese (not Russians, oddly?), hordes from abroad… but they aren’t your biggest worry. You’ve made a great start on dismantling the hateful Obamacare.  OK, 20 miliion more Americans got health insurance, but it didn’t make much […]

Ballywalter dives into askmyGP

Ballywalter, population 2,027, lies on the Ards peninsula in Co Down.  Just smell the sea! In the first full week (from 16th January) 72 patients used askmyGP to get help from the 5,200 patient surgery.  That’s 20% shifting channel from telephone to online.  Since then it has risen closer to 30% and the effects are growing. […]