The BMA has issued an Urgent Prescription for General Practice – how could mHealth help?

Urgent Prescription for General Practice

The BMA has made a call for urgent treatment to ensure NHS GP survival in the face of “workload and patient demand at unprecedented levels“. Read the BMA’s Responsive, safe and sustainable – a vision for the future of general practice (PDF) and follow them on Twitter to show your support.

I thought the social media campaign is another good reminder why medics need to think Mobile First and I thought it might be helpful to list the ways that I think mHealth can help:

  • safe, manageable workload & more time with patients

Before this will ever happen I think we all need to realise the 2000 year old healthcare model is no longer viable and that consumer technology that’s widely available today can help GPs unlearn the appointment system. Harry Longman and Glen Griffiths led a couple of great CPD accredited ‘unlearning the appointment system’ webinars this week that were really well attended but I think they should be prescribed by the BMA to it’s members because it’s just not safe to continue having NHS GP receptionists turn away 100,000 Patients a day and it’s not possible to go on blaming Patients because we work in a system that provides practically no idea what they need until they walk into the consult room (visit AskMyGP.uk to see how some NHS GPs have already moved beyond this model).

  • increased practice funding

I think it’s obvious that this is needed (Primary Care is the most cost effective part of any healthcare system) but we’ve got to also look inward and ensure that we’re showing the value that’s being provided as being busy isn’t enough (after all if you think the product you make as a GP is scheduled appointments then the NHS makes no sense).

  • more staff to support GPs 

I think the NHS has an enormous opportunity to work with Patients too. Imagine the potential for the work Dr Amir Hannan is doing to be scaled across the whole of the NHS? (also check out the focus of the self care week the ran in November).

  • less box ticking

Let’s totally rethink box ticking. We all know there are important questions that we’d like to be able to ask and document before Patients ever enter our consult rooms so why don’t we let the individual with the most time and the most interest help their Doctors with the administrivia (just remember to always do it compassionately)?

What would you add?

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