Train up secretaries to take the load off GPs
What we did
We set up a small admin team to cover the routine GP work such as reading all incoming hospital/clinic letters. The admin staff are able to highlight the information to be dealt with and direct the letters to the relevant member of staff.
This started in 2006 when a scanner was first used to scan all correspondence on patients’ notes. These teams allow me to be a doctor and use my time at work to apply primarily clinical skills. the admin side- screening incoming letters for what needs to be coded, for what needs querying with GP, making changes on repeat scripts, communicating simple messages to patients, chasing hospital letters- all done by these teams.
We are told, repeatedly, by our accountants, that we spend more on our personnel than an average practice in this area.
The gains, however, are that we are able to look after population of 8500+ patients by allowing my two also full time Partners and myself to spend more time with patients, while admin is dealt by someone else. We rarely have to use locums, except in events of prolonged absence of one of us.
Dr Vardan Tadevosyan and Rosemarie Wicks