Here at Saxmundham Surgery we are continuously striving to implement new projects which will have a beneficial effect on our patients and their health. Below are further details of some of our most recent projects.
This is a local GP led project to try to tackle social isolation in our rural East Suffolk community using set top boxes and skype like technology to allow conversations between the elderly and family, friends, and British Red Cross volunteers through televisions rather than computers. Fore more information please visit www.facelook.org.uk
The i-van - a mobile clinic for glaucoma patients
Approximately 10% of UK blindness registrations are attributed to glaucoma and the prevalence rate increases with age so is estimated to rise to over 9% in people over 75. Already many more than 489,000 people are affected by chronic open angle glaucoma in England.
The population of East Suffolk is largely elderly and rural. Glaucoma is a common problem and the group affected find it very difficult to get to the hospital. Not only is it a long way away but, with impaired vision, travel can be a real struggle.
The ‘i-van’ is a mobile clinic containing all the equipment needed to review the patients. The van’s staff includes one optometrist, two clinical assistants and one administrator
The entire appointment in the van takes around an hour and no one leaves without having all the tests, so there is no need for them to re-attend until they are next due. The service can see up to 20 patients in one day.
Advice Letter Listing
With the NHS being subjected to increasingly tight budgets the pressure is on to save as much money as possible, but without compromising patient care. Saxmundham first piloted the Advice Letter Listing (ALL) project in 2010 in conjunction with Ipswich Hospital. This uses the technology of Choose & Book, but rather than sending over a referral letter, asking the Consultant to review a patient in their outpatient clinic, in the first instance the GP sends the information over the the Consultant who can either recommend an outpatient appointment, or an alternative management plan which can be followed in the community. This not only saves the patient an unnecessary trip to hospital, it also avoids the cost involved in an outpatient appointment.
This project was initially just used by a few hospital specialities, but is now used by the majority of departments at Ipswich Hospital.
Electronic Hospital discharge
This use of technology allows hospitals to email over discharge summary reports directly to the practice the same day that the patient has been seen and discharged. Previously there would be a number of days delay in the practice receiving the paper copy after finding its way slowly through the internal post. However, now the practice has access to the information the same day. As the discharges are now typed on the computer by Ipswich Hospital it also saves time having to decipher a consultants handwriting!
Self referral physiotherapy
This allows patients to refer themselves into the physiotherapy service rather than going through their GP. The waiting time is significantly shorter, and the patients problems are triaged by a physiotherapist so that they can ensure the right care is offered. To use the service or find out more visit www.ahpsuffolk.co.uk
Learning disability reviews
The practice is now offering all patients with a moderate or severe learning disability an annual health check. People with learning disabilities are often more likely to suffer from certain diseases, for example heart problems. It is therefore important that they are reviewed on a regular basis and any potential problems are investigated.