Safe patient care; how are we supporting you in your practice?

  • Guest blog

Dr Lisa Harrod-Rothwell, our Deputy CEO, explains how our new resources help with focusing on patient care and staff wellbeing.

Safe patient care is a growing concern for GPs and those we care for. In response to your concerns, we have developed and launched our new safety resource pack, supporting London’s general practice teams who are currently dealing with unsafe workloads across the Capital.

Last week, I put a simple question to a room of over 200 London GPs and practice team members: do you feel that you are always able to work safely?
Over 80% said they do not, echoing our last workforce survey results. The problem isn’t with GPs not being up to the task but having an impossible task set.

If you work way beyond what can reasonably be expected of you but still feel that you aren’t doing enough, you are not alone. You are not failing.

Pushing back

There are three top reasons why we need to work differently:

  1. Patient safety must be put first.
  2. We must also protect practice staff and stem spiraling GP attrition – if workforce numbers keep dropping the safety and quality of our service will decline even faster.
  3. As the quality and safety of our services drop, our patients will cease to value what we offer and our allyship and relationships with our patients and local communities will become fractured.

Our new resources

With resources to manage workload, our new guide on dealing with abusive and violent patients, guidance on managing access, a patient participation pack, template letters and responses, posters, and guidance on reporting operational pressures, this safe working pack will help practices to safely manage the growing demands.

We need to:

  • Ensure that we are prioritizing our own work over tasks that other providers are contracted to do.
  • Engage with our patient groups to determine how we meet their reasonable needs safely within the workforce and resources available.
  • Escalate failings from across the system that land in our laps to address or waste our time.

Londonwide LMCs is here to support you and we hope you find our safe working pack useful. Please let us know if you need any advice or further help and do contact your LMC about any system issues that are not within your gift to resolve.

No patient wants to arrive in the consulting room to find an emotionally and intellectually exhausted GP, who lacks the time to hear their concerns, who is distracted by multiple competing demands and who no longer can ensure safe care. No GP wants this either.

You are not failing; you are being failed, your practice is being failed.

As Michelle says, we’ve got your back.