First Practice Management
- Posted Monday May 18, 2020
This month we are showcasing all the fantastic things Charnwood Community Medical Group is doing in their communities and the services they’re particularly proud of, as well as how the practice is coping during COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the name of your GP practice?
Charnwood Community Medical Group
What is your patient list size?
What is the main demographic of your practice?
Our demographic closely matches the national average. Loughborough is a University town, so we see some variation around University term times and our two branch surgeries have differing populations around them in terms of average age and socio-economic needs.
We’d love to hear about how you engage with your local community.
Our Patient Participation Group is integral to everything that we do. The 20 strong group is supported by over 1700 online members who receive regular newsletters that are co-produced by the Practice and the Group.
Each year we jointly establish the priorities for the year ahead, setting up small project delivery groups. This year we plan to run to look at a patient survey and improving our support for patients suffering bereavement. We will also be working together to become a dementia friendly practice.
We also regularly update our local residents’ group on the developments within primary care as a whole and the things that are happening in the practice.
Which services that you offer patients are you particularly proud of?
Our main surgery, Rosebery Medical Centre, is an old Grade II listed primary school. The Old Infant school section of the building has offered us a unique opportunity to set up a wellbeing centre. We can make space for community activities and groups such as Help the Aged, Pilates, Thai Chi, Stamp Collecting and many others. The building also provides office space for our local GP Federation.
What is the best thing about working at your practice?
Quite simply teamwork, we couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and hardworking team.
How is your Practice coping with Covid-19?
The first few weeks of COVID-19 were challenging for all of us with almost every system in the practice needing to be reinvented. This combined with the daily guidance changes put a huge strain on everyone involved. Over the past couple of weeks, we seem to have settled into more of a routine as we have got used to the new systems. As with all practices, calls are now triaged, and we have used our buildings to set up a red zone to see symptomatic patients and a separate area to see shielding patients.
What roles within the practice are working from home?
We have managed to put systems in place to enable most of our staff groups to be able to work from home if they need to. The next area we will be looking at will be safely routing incoming calls directly to our reception team at home so that they can work from home if needed. We haven’t found a solution for the cleaners yet!
How is the practice managing the workload?
The first few weeks were unnervingly quiet but thankfully we have started to see demand pick back up again more recently. We have been surprised at the amount of work that we have been able to deal with safely on the phone and video consultations have really helped as well. I think we are all preparing for, and a little anxious about, the increase in demand we might see as we start to emerge from lock down.
Has the practice received suitable PPE?
Supplies over the first few weeks were very challenging, and we came very close to running out, but our Federation have been able to help maintain supplies since then. In the first few weeks we set up an appeal for PPE that went out to all our patients and we were amazed at the generosity and help that people offered us. We have local manufacturers and schools making face shields for us and lots of people donating spare face masks.
How are you and the team feeling?
On a personal level I am so proud of how the team and practice has responded to the crisis. I think we are all naturally anxious about what comes next and the work that will be involved as we start to get back to business as usual.
Out of an incredibly sad situation, I think we all feel that there is an opportunity not to go back to some of the things that were becoming unsustainable in General Practice and we are determined not to let that happen.
Want to showcase the fantastic work of your own Primary Care team? You could be the next FPM Practice of the Month! Get in touch via email or drop us a line through our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages today.