There was a time when GP practices were expected to provide a service that was convenient to patients. Yet in some quarters I now read that patients may have to wait three days not two for repeat prescriptions when it is actually possible to issue repeat prescriptions in hours not days. I also read that patients wanting to be seen today may have to be challenged by a health professional to justify their request and that this ‘service’ will be CCG wide.
What then happened to putting patients first or the customer is always right. In recent months I have had the privilege of attending a large hospital where the doctors are thorough, the information is solid and tine is spent explaining what is a worrying procedure at the best of times. The nurses too spend time with patients, give support and are always available later on the telephone to provide additional support. When someone is ill, it can be life threatening, a patient does not want to be overly questioned and challenged other than by the medic they want to see.
Always some health professionals are better than others at putting patients at ease, giving injections and treatment without causing hurt or harm. Some health professionals are better at talking on the same level as patients. It does not hurt to show kindness and sympathy. Patients can be worried, frightened and actually feel very ill although on the surface it may not be obvious. A trained professional should be able to elicit this, not someone who’s only purpose is to prevent that patient from being seen today.
So when you are planning and managing your services always thing of how you would like to be dealt with and expect no less for the patients you provide a service for. Think twice before cutting services to fit the cloth. A health service should be a little more than that.