I’m still pondering on who should be involved in this adventure, what exactly we are trying to achieve, and how. In the meantime, every day, something happens that reveals a new dimension, new ideas to try and new resources to explore.
Before I start changing everything, I thought I should do an inventory of what we do in our practice to support patients to be ready for a dialogue about their choices. Here is my photo-inventory.
- Signposting cards. I have used these for a while, and then recruited them into a project to reduce the time patients wait in the surgery for their appointment. I give them to patients to look things up after the consultation. On the back, there is space for recording the next appointment. I could add the ‘five questions’.
- Pre-consultation leaflets: part of the same project was to see if patients could be supported to make the most of their appointment. This seemed a brilliant idea, but patients are only be persuaded to use the forms if they were pressed upon them by the admin staff. The posters in the waiting room are still there, and the forms are at reception.
- We have also tried to direct people to contact the right person for queries about referrals, appointments and investigations, and to get the best from their hospital appointments. We should really do a proper interface project, but most of the consultants visit from out-of-the area, so that hasn’t taken off yet. However, the poster already has the ‘five questions’.
- We have also supported our practice population to attend workshops run by the Scottish Health Council to empower them to speak up about what matters.
So, for the quick look round the surgery, we have some solid foundations. We also have a patient participation group facebook page and a practice website.
I strongly believe that people,our patients, are a under-used resource for revolutionising health care. Enpowering them to spread the concepts of Realistic Medicine, they will spread through our health and care systems, asking for change, reaching the cynics as well as the enthusiasts.