More than 100 GPs and senior trust clinicians came together at the St George’s Healthcare Bridging the Gap event on Monday 31st January 2011.
Bridging the Gap is a new forum that has been established to encourage frank and open discussion and mutual understanding between primary and secondary care clinicians. For many of those attending, the event was the first opportunity to discuss local operational and strategic issues, including the development of the GP consortia in Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton.
Working together to deliver quality care
Throughout the evening, the key themes were the desire the improve communication between GPs and consultants and the need for a greater emphasis on education. There was a consensus that this would provide a clearer understanding of each other’s skills and needs, and more face-to-face or telephone contact between clinicians could in turn reduce inappropriate referrals.
There was a lot of discussion about blurring the boundaries between primary and secondary care and increasing partnership working so that patients’ conditions can be better managed.
Keeping patients at the heart of our work
GPs and consultants agreed that pathways and services should be designed to make sure that the patient experience is as stress free as possible, allowing patients to concentrate on their treatment.
Delivering expert specialist clinical care in the community closer to where people live without destabilising services was identified as a key challenge in south west London, along with improving discharge processes and access to services outside or normal hours.
Dr Nicola Jones chair of the Wandle PbC cluster and Val Thomas divisional chair of women's and children's services.
A well received event
The overwhelming majority of attendees found the evening useful, scoring the event an average of 8/10 in the feedback questionnaire.
The opportunity to network with other clinicians and gain a better understanding of each others’ roles was seen as a key benefit of the evening, with most people appreciating the chance to see how other health professionals approach the same concerns from a different perspective.
However, there was also an acknowledgement that there are many areas where there are gaps that need to be bridged, and that there need to be more opportunities to get together to tackle the issues facing health services.
Bridging the Gap Monday 16th May 2011
The next Bridging the Gap event will take place in the evening on Monday 16th May 2011. The primary care liaison team are in the process of planning the agenda, and are considering a ‘you said; we did’ theme that would include updates on the outpatient taskforce, the management of consultant to consultant referrals and other key performance indicators. Formal invitations will be sent out shortly.
Let us know what you would like to discuss at future meetings, and your thoughts about the format and timings. Email Dominic Dickinson, primary care liaison manager, at email@example.com