‘What the ageing patient needs is continuity, continuity, continuity.’ Photograph: Getty
I do not know whether or not it is Jeremy Hunt himself, or one of his minions in the Division of Overall health (DH), who has imagined up the policy of giving any patient more than 65 a named GP. As a patient with several prolonged-term situations, who is significantly older than 65, I welcome this policy. I collect that the DH is wanting to lengthen this policy into hospitals, and appoint a advisor to be responsible for sufferers throughout their in and out-patient remedy.
Over all, individuals want continuity in their care, specifically aged ones like me, who have been utilized to far more personalised care in our youth. We do not want to see a diverse medical doctor whenever we have an appointment.
One contemporary who has been handled for the final four years with prostate cancer complains that he has never ever noticed the very same hospital medical professional throughout that time. And, when he does see a medical professional, his/her eyes are clamped on his record on the computer screen, or his file of paper notes. Eye make contact with is unusual. He was also put out when it was a nurse, not a medical professional, who informed him he had cancer.
Yet another contemporary with pancreatic cancer laughingly referred to the four consultants who taken care of him in hospital as the “time-share” boys. As a demonstration of how detached they all had been from his problem, a single of them sent a letter calling him for an outpatient appointment the week before he died, therefore upsetting him somewhat. I asked him a month or so earlier, who he regarded as to be master-minding his care. He imagined for some time and replied, “the palliative care nurse”, not any of the hospital consultants or even his GP.
The two these buddies had been currently being treated at two of the country’s most prestigious and substantial university hospitals. I am luckier, as the hospitals I frequent are reasonably tiny, and I typically discover a familiar encounter amongst the doctors who deal with me. The monster hospitals could be clinically fantastic, but the medical professionals in the smaller sized hospitals are closer to their individuals. Incidentally, the most productive hospital I check out is faced with the closure of some of its departments. It tries more difficult than other far more unthreatened hospitals in the region, and the doctors are a lot more empathetic.
I know I are not able to count on to see the exact same medical professional all the time the pressure on hospital employees and the boost in specialisation is what it is, and because final April, GPs have had to attend CCG meetings. But sometimes I believe that, above the last handful of years, the NHS has stopped realising that private continuity of care is higher on the record of what almost every patient would like – even out of hrs. We have not been obtaining it, particularly in secondary care. Possibly we can now seem forward to some thing better.
In the final 6 weeks, I have identified how critical it is to have a named GP. My heart, kidneys and other elements of my anatomy have started out playing up 1 following another. I have been going down to the surgical procedure, and seeing a different GP who deals with every problem individually. I then uncover that the medicine and diet plan to deal with one particular of my complaints conflicts with the others. It dawned on me that I necessary a single doctor to mastermind my “co-morbidities”.
So, anticipating the Jeremy Hunt scheme of naming medical professionals for the over 65s, I have nominated 1 of the GPs, to type out the balancing act. She accepted the challenge. I come to feel I am now in great hands. She does not believe in the 10-minute limit for appointments, and it occasionally takes half an hour or much more to kind out all my situations. But this is appropriate doctoring. She treats all her sufferers like this, but no one in the waiting space grumbles, because they know that seeing her is worth the extra wait.
What the last 6 weeks have reminded me is that what the ageing patient requirements is continuity, continuity, continuity.
This report is published by Guardian Skilled. Join the Healthcare Pros Network to obtain normal emails and exclusive offers.