How we look after all care home residents in our area
Dr Khalid Alshawy explains how his team covers all the care homes in Salford
Name Salford Care Homes Practice, Manchester
List size 1,084
Patients over 85 650, or 60% of the list
Full-time equivalent GPs 3.6
Our practice covers all the care homes in Salford
More than half our patients have dementia. This raises particular challenges for patient management, for example, clinical, communication and legal issues. We are an APMS practice and our funding is based on a set of key performance indicators reflecting the patient group we care for. Meanwhile, we still have to work hard on the QOF and have achieved the maximum points.
Being part of a large trust saves time
We have the support of a Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, which is our biggest advantage. This gives us HR support, recruitment, premises and training. We are fortunate that we are able to use the trust’s infrastructure for things like CQC inspection preparation, which saves us time and work.
All of our GPs are salaried or locums
Each GP at the practice has been selected for being passionate about working with the elderly. Our practice does not have ‘partners’. As well as GPs, the team includes administrative staff, nurse prescribers and healthcare assistants. The practice nurse undertakes our QOF administration.
We have a multidisciplinary team approach: we have a community geriatrician for a couple of sessions per week, a dementia specialist nurse and we also work in partnership with the local mental health trust.
All our staff have specialist training
We recognise that a role in the practice calls for a particular set of skills. We advertise widely and offer candidates the chance to shadow clinicians before deciding whether to apply for a role. It can be a challenge but we recognised early that it was important to recruit a team – both clinical and non-clinical – whose members had the required skills. We give all staff specialist training. The practice staff access the learning opportunities available from both the CCG and the trust, and we support them to undertake further education such as the Royal College of Physicians’ Diploma in Geriatric Medicine.
Some of our GPs have a special interest in dementia. We train receptionists in dementia awareness and end-of-life administration procedures.
GPs triage all calls and visit if needed
Because of care homes’ routines, our telephone lines get very busy at certain points of the day. To improve access, we have increased the number of lines into the practice. Calls are filtered through to the appropriate team. GPs triage all calls on the day and carry out visits when clinically indicated.
Laptops allow mobile records access
On many of our visits to care homes, we need to access the patient’s records from the bedside. We have worked with the trust’s IT team on a mobile solution, so we can access records via password-protected and encrypted laptops.