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  • Scotland sets out policy on improving workforce planning for primary care

    Scotland sets out policy on improving workforce planning for primary care

    Wednesday, 09 May 2018 16:12
  • DHSC to address concerns of prescription direction to distance selling pharmacies

    DHSC to address concerns of prescription direction to distance selling pharmacies

    Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:51
  • Study gives pointers on why patients are reluctant to disclose sexual orientation

    Study gives pointers on why patients are reluctant to disclose sexual orientation

    Thursday, 01 February 2018 11:35

a welsh flag imageOctober 4 2017

Appointment systems for general practices in Wales have been raised in Healthcare Inspectorate Wales’ new annual report.

 Summarising its findings based on inspecting 27 GP surgeries in the past year, HIW said: “Practices need to ensure that their appointment systems are as accessible as possible to patients who may have additional needs. We found that sometimes the arrangements were restrictive as they only allowed bookings to be made in a certain way.”

While many practices had systems in place for initial patient triage and signposting, “patients often did not fully understand or accept the need for this.” The report calls on health boards to consider supporting wider communication to patients of why practices have triage systems in place.

In addition, HIW said practices could improve by:

  • strengthening arrangements for ensuring practices are aware of and fulfilling their obligations under Health and Safety law;
  • making sure that policies and procedures are up-to-date and the latest versions clearly marked so that staff can be accurately guided in their duties.

Among the aspects praised by HIW found were that:

  • patients told HIW that they valued the care they receive;
  • practices had systems in place to try and ensure continuity of care;
  • practices were keen to develop staff competence and invested in additional training as appropriate.

“We found that GP practices were working hard to provide safe and effective care. We identified much in the way of good practice across the sector,” said HIW.

However, it had “identified a range of improvements needed across services and some of these, disappointingly, echo the recommendations we made in our 2015-16 annual report. This indicates that individual services, health boards and advisory bodies could do more to act on and share the learning from the recommendations we make within these reports.”

BMA News has quoted BMA Welsh GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones saying: “More work needs to be done to support practices in communicating the benefits of practices utilising other healthcare professionals, to alleviate the demand for GP appointments.

“We are therefore fully supportive of any means to address this, including wider communications to patients. We welcome the recommendations outlined in the report, including safeguarding training, ensuring continuity of care for patients and enabling easy access to premises.”

Links:
HIW announcement        
HIW General Medical Practice (GP) Inspections Annual Report 2016-17  
HIW ‘General Medical Practice (GP) Inspections Annual Report 2016-17’ document         
BMA News coverage         

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