Is continuity of care really important?
GP leaders warn staff shortages and heavy workload means it is becoming harder to deliver continuity of care to patients in the UK. Innovation in general practice seems to be focused around providing patients with immediate access to a (any) doctor via technology apps and video. Access is the priority, but these services are increasingly resourced by locum or agency doctors. Is this really a problem? Yes, indeed it is – there are many proven benefits of the traditional GP model, where patients have the same doctor look after them and sees them regularly:
Most critically, continuity of care has been proven to reduce the need for out-of-hours care, acute hospitalisations, and mortality. It can be lifesaving to be treated by a doctor who knows you.
Research has shown that continuity of care also leads to patients being more likely to follow medical advice and utilise preventative care such as immunisations or cancer screening. Increased continuity of care is associated with lower mortality rates.
There are also more subtle benefits of a strong Patient-Doctor Relationship including:
The building of trust and honesty between both parties for effective and efficient health management; patients are more likely to talk more freely with a doctor they know and find it easier to give more relevant information, sometimes quite personal information, or discuss anxieties they have. The doctor can then tailor the advice and management plans much more effectively.
Better understanding of the patient and their health conditions, knowing what’s normal for them and recognising patterns and behaviours. Conditions less likely to be missed or misdiagnosed.
Less frustrations, stress, and anxiety for patients as they don’t have to repeat and recap ongoing conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments to numerous doctors, numerous times.
Patients who see the same doctor consistently have higher satisfaction, are more likely to follow medical advice, take up preventative care such as immunisations and have significantly fewer unnecessary hospital admissions.
Concierge Medical, the first, and still the only true ‘Concierge’ practice in the UK, is founded on the model of the traditional family doctor relationship. Our philosophy is a simple one; to provide the best possible healthcare to our members. Continuity of care is the backbone of this philosophy. We recognise that good medicine is always based around a strong mutual relationship between doctor and patient. That’s why we don’t offer one-off appointments, why we have a membership model, why all of our members have an assigned doctor, why we are open 24/7, why we have built a trusted network of secondary care professionals. Because it provides continuity for our patients…and that’s important.
Founded in 2013, Concierge Medical Practice has progressed to become a national award-winning private General Practice, providing the best healthcare to individual clients and businesses throughout Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Oxfordshire.
Our members have a named private doctor, providing on-going continuity of care. Our list size is kept small to guarantee availability and quality. We are a home-visiting practice, so all consultations with the private doctor are at our member’s home or office (or by phone, video, text etc). Our private doctors are readily contactable for home visits, remote consultations, advice and support. We have a strong network of secondary care and allied health professionals who complement our general practice services and whom we can readily access. All our private doctors are full time employees of Concierge Medical. They are all experienced GPs and have chosen to work as Concierge doctors as they understand and value the benefits of a strong patient-doctor relationship.
Concierge Medical is not tied to specific hospitals, insurers, or conventional ways of working. Our only concern is for our clients and their health and wellbeing.
Our team of private doctors pride themselves on offering the highest quality of care to our members. Getting access to medical care at a time that is convenient for you is essential for your health and wellbeing. Our private doctors always have time for our members.
Find out more about the benefits of having a private doctor.
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