Trust runs GP engagement event to establish closer working in the region

On Wednesday 16 January 2018 a leading North East NHS Foundation Trust ran the second of their quarterly engagement events for GPs across the region.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust welcomed primary care colleagues from across the region to the event sponsored by Kyowa Kirin, an R&D-based life sciences company who specialise in biotechnology.

The session was opened by Professor Jane Metcalf, who thanked guests for making their way the Middlefield Lecture Theatre at the North Tees Stockton site. Jane introduced the first speaker of the evening – Dr Benjamin Prudon, Respiratory Consultant for the Trust.

Dr Prudon, a respiratory specialist with the Trust opened his presentation with an invitation to delegates. In a bid to make smoother the transition of patients from primary to secondary care he encouraged the visiting GPs to call the respiratory team at the hospital site. Dr Prudon continued with a pledge to ‘call GPs back within the working day’.

The medic and his respiratory colleagues gave an overview of current health population statistics for lung-related diseases – ‘over one quarter of UK deaths are respiratory related, we are living with high levels of COPD and lung cancer. As healthcare professionals we want to give patients access to the very best, whilst promoting aspirational health’.

Dr Prudon and his team explored discussion around the National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway, for which the Trust boasts an almost 100% achievement rate for the two-week rule aimed at patients have an appointment created with a chest physician. GPs engaged in open and fluid questioning about the pathway, looking to understand benefits to their practice and implementation of smooth process.

Colleagues from lung health also spoke about home oxygen, offering different ideas, approaches and tips for patients and their GPs to consider. The team took the opportunity to launch a keyring initiative which those suffering with lung-related illness might utilise in order to be identified at first contact with medical staff.

The second presentation of the evening came from the Trust’ Frailty Team, a model that North Tees and Hartlepool have been running for one year. Introducing the team, Professor Jane Metcalf encouraged guests ‘we want to work as a pathway and not in secondary care in isolation’.

The team of four – Siobhan Smith, Clinical Care Coordinator, Rebecca Phillips and Mark Ryder, Frailty Coordinators and Lynn Morgan, Senior Clinical Matron introduced the key principles of effective frailty management – citing integration as the key theme. They explained to delegates that working as a collection of multi-disciplined teams, since October 2018 they have experienced a 25% increase in the reduction of stay for patients.

The Frailty model for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust means that their patients only have to ‘tell their story once’. Presenters explained their use of the ‘Rockwood Frailty Score’ as part of initial assessment.

The team have been praised for their innovative approach to frailty, and are regarded as a model of best practice with colleagues throughout the community.

GPs in attendance Dr Alex Muirhead (Gladstone House Surgery, Hartlepool) and Dr Fran Carter (Skerne Medical Group, Sedgefield) praised the event, saying ‘it is wonderful to have sight of those people we speak to week-to-week within the Trust. It is as simple as putting names to faces to enhancing relationships. It’s a really good initiative to allow us to see the clear pathways we can work with for our patients’.

If you would like to attend the next GP engagement event, contact Katherine Gretton – Katherine.gretton@nth.nhs.uk for more information.

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