GP Clinical Care at EBPC
As healthcare providers, we all know just how important GP clinical care is when it comes to offering an outstanding service to our patients. East Berkshire Primary Care (EBPC) recently commissioned an independent survey of our GPs to help us see just how we were doing and the news has been incredibly positive.
We are pleased to report that over 95% of GPs who work with us felt they were able to provide the level of clinical care they wished to deliver. This a great result that we are naturally very proud of, but we also want to break down how we maintain these standards of clinical care and look at some of the challenges currently facing GPs.
How we maintain excellent standards of clinical care
There are many aspects to providing good clinical care and it is important to us at EBPC that we foster the right kind of environment to facilitate the very best standards. We do this by making sure we have the best systems and support possible in place so our GPs can do their jobs effectively.
This all starts at the top with our leadership. The survey found that over 93.5% of our GPs felt that EBPC was well led. This is the cornerstone of our healthcare provision, with our leadership setting standards and communicating effectively with our doctors to make sure they are able to offer the appropriate level of care to our patients.
One of the key ways we help our GPs is by funding them wherever possible to carry out additional study to improve their skills, allowing them to constantly increase their ability to provide a leading service.
We also work very hard on maintaining good communication with our GPs. This helps us to make sure they are kept well-informed of the latest standards and practices we expect from our doctors, lets us offer key performance feedback to keep improving the care we offer and allows our GPs to raise any issues so they can be addressed as soon as possible.
The challenges facing GPs
As we are all aware, there are ever growing sources of pressure on all GPs which can impact the level of clinical care they are able to offer. At EBPC we do everything we can to help our doctors deal with these issues and prevent them negatively affecting patients.
Research shows that GPs workload has increased significantly in recent years, with GPs dealing with an average 15% increase in overall contacts with patients. This breaks down into a 13% increase in physical contacts and a 63% increase in contacts by phone. The out-of-hours care we provide is one of the key ways to help spread the workload of GPs as well as providing a more convenient service for patients. We work very hard to make sure we always provide the correct number of GPs for each shift so that patients can receive the appropriate amount of time with a GP to get the level of care they need.
There has also been a significant growth in the proportion of GPs’ patients who are over 65 and who therefore tend to have more serious and ongoing medical issues. This puts an increased burden on GPs as these patients typically need more time to deal with, meaning the average time required per patient can start to creep up. Again, our out-of-hours service can help by providing extra appointments for patients of all ages so each patient can get the time and attention they need.
One of the issues our survey highlighted was the difficulty our GPs can sometimes have accessing ongoing healthcare services for their patients, including mental health crisis care and district nurses. This is due to wider issues in funding and other factors affecting the NHS but can have a serious effect on overall patient care. This is not something we can directly influence, unfortunately, as these services are provided by other organisations. However, we do offer as much support and advice as we can to our GPs so they can connect patients with appropriate services wherever possible and as quickly and smoothly as possible.
By working closely with our GPs and patients, we do everything we can to help minimise the impact of these kind of challenges on the clinical care we offer. We are pleased that the feedback from our GPs suggests this is having a definite positive effect.
Work with us and help provide first rate GP clinical care
East Berkshire Primary Care (EBPC) Out of Hours Service is a not-for-profit social enterprise supplying NHS services for East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups. This includes urgent out-of-hours medical care and covers Bracknell Forest, Slough, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead.
We have a strong focus on offering a supportive, flexible working environment for our GPs that allows them to provide the very highest levels of clinical care to their patients. We also help GPs achieve a better work-life balance and give them a chance to gain valuable experience working in a variety of areas with a wide range of patients.
We are extremely pleased that our GPs have responded so favourably in the recent survey, with GP clinical care being just one of the areas where our team have expressed satisfaction. We also achieved over 95% approval for the level of support offered by EBPC management and, crucially, over 98% of our GPs feel they are able to offer a safe service to patients.