Nurse carrying out a consultation with a patient

RCGP: Utilising multidisciplinary teams is a benefit, not a mistake

“Sometimes a GP is not the most appropriate healthcare professional for a patient’s health needs.”

Those were the words of Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), as he responded to media reports that half of GP appointments featured no actual doctor present.

Rather than that being a cause for concern, however, the RCGP Chair pointed to the fact that instead many of these appointments were being handled out by highly-competent colleagues as part of more appropriate multidisciplinary teams

Instead, he called for further support and focus on these teams – in essence, on the whole range of expertise and healthcare professionals involved in delivering effective general practice care.

The Government has already promised to deliver 26,000 more members of the practice team, on top of 6,000 more GPs, with this continuing to support GP appointments being taken by the most appropriate member of the team; ensuring the GP’s time is free for those patients who most urgently need in-person consultation from the doctor.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "General practice is a team profession.

“Sometimes a GP is not the most appropriate healthcare professional for a patient's health needs and we work with highly skilled nurses, pharmacists, physios, mental health therapists, and increasingly link workers, to ensure patients get the best care for them.

“Working within multi-disciplinary teams also frees up GPs’ time to see patients who really need their medical expertise, particularly those with complex health needs.

"However, the whole of general practice is stretched beyond endurance right now. GPs and our teams are working under intense workload and workforce pressures, that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“We need to see the Government make good on its promise of 6,000 more GPs and 26,000 more members of the practice team – as well as introducing measures to tackle ‘undoable’ workload in general practice, so that patients can get the care they need.”

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

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Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities

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The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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