Releasing time for more effective consultations

Case study summary

Glenroyd Medical Centre in Blackpool has over 15,000 registered patients and four GPs. The practice wanted to better manage patients that frequently attended and ensure they were receiving appropriate care.  Using the Productive General Practice Quick Start programme by the Sustainable Improvement team at NHS England, which is part of the support available through the General Practice Forward View, the practice team chose the Frequent Attenders module to help establish a speedy and regular review of high attending patients.

Identifying frequent attenders

A list was compiled of all of the practice’s patients showing how often they attended.  This identified that 22 patients accounted for 1,016 attendances.

A multi-disciplinary team came together and over a one hour meeting swiftly looked at a small sub set in more detail. These short focused discussions, concentrated on the care the patients received and what the team felt could be done to improve that care.

By the end of the meeting actions were agreed to help manage those patients better, including ensuring greater continuity of care from a specific GP, something that had not been picked up before, and pro-active referrals to more suitable parts of the health service.

Impact

  • From 1,016 attendances the practice has already released 246 (24 per cent). appointments over the course of the year. This will release 41 hours of clinical time to focus on more appropriate consultations.
  • The practice has established regular ‘frequent attender’ meetings to ensure patients are being managed effectively. This will continue to release more clinical capacity in the practice.
  • A management plan is in place for frequent attenders which includes an allocated clinician to ensure continuity of care.
  • Staff motivation and morale has increased as staff feel they are listened to more.
‘We are now managing and discussing our frequent attenders with the ultimate aim of managing and reducing their attendance to the practice.’
Sharon Orr, practice manager, Glenroyd Medical Centre

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