In addition to individual doctors and staff undergoing specific training and attending specific seminars, the practice continues our Protected Time Education sessions. These were introduced area-wide in 2000/01 in order to develop Primary Health Care Teams to involve staff in shaping service delivery and to develop both staff and services for the benefit of patients. These are held once per month on Monday between 13:00 and 15:00. (notice will be displayed). The surgery is completely closed to patients during these times. The sessions are identified by members of the practice team and are wholly facilitated by team members. Typical topics would be:
- Action Planning for the New GP Contract
- Infection Control
- Significant Event Reporting
- Access to Appointments
- Resuscitation Update
- Health & Safety Plans
- Chronic Disease Registers – Maintaining
- PALS. Patient Advisory Liaison Service – Services available.
- Choose and Book referrals to secondary care
- Care at the Chemist.
- Medicine management
These sessions take various formats depending on the subject area e.g. clinical issues usually begin with an overview of the condition and what it means to the patient, together with audit criteria. The group then usually divides into clinical and non-clinical teams to discuss relevant issues.
This work has been beneficial to all involved. Everyone has the opportunity to join in, raising questions or giving feedback. In this way, communication channels are more open and changes are more positive as everyone has been given the opportunity to participate.
The practice has an appraisal system which allows the employed staff members to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to develop a personal development plan for the year. Their training needs are met by a combination of in-house and external courses and seminars. All GPs and staff now have personal learning plans. The attached staff, that is the Health Visitors, District nurses and Primary Care Mental Health nurses, all had Personal Development Reviews (PDR) and all have personal learning plans.
Work on improving the integration of the staff in reception continues. A major part of this is knowledge of each others’ roles which will then lead on to having staff that are more multi-skilled and multi-tasked. This will end with all the non-clinical staff having the requisite skills to undertake each others’ roles at times of, for example, annual leave and sickness.