When the shutters come down, offices are locked and phones transferred, it’s the GP Out-of-Hours service that takes the reins together with NHS 24, to care for Forth Valley’s 280,000 patients in the evenings and overnight.
A group of doctors, nurses and paramedics provide care from three centres, in Larbert, Stirling and Alloa. The service provides consultations in clinics, by telephone and in the patient’s own home.
Since July 2012 doctors visiting patients have used iPads to receive referrals from NHS 24 and take clinical notes while in the patient’s home. This allows the doctor to send referral letters directly to the hospital when arranging admission.
Now, by working with Adastra, the developers of the Out-of-Hours system, doctors have access to components of the Key Information Summary (KIS) while working from the iPads. KIS contains information about patients with long term conditions and palliative care issues which are uploaded by a GP with a patient’s consent. This latest advance means Out-of-Hours doctors can access the summary in their car; previously it was only accessible in an Out-of-Hours centre.
Dr Duncan Lamont, one of NHS Forth Valley’s E-Health Clinical Leads, said: “This is all about person-centred care. Many times people with long-term conditions prefer to stay at home rather than go into hospital. If they have talked to their GP about this and have given permission for us to access the Key Information Summary, we are more able to provide the care that best suits their wishes.”
NHS Forth Valley remains the only Out-of-Hours service in Scotland using iPads, which enables staff to send referral letters directly from the patient’s home to the hospital. These now contain special notes from the KIS, improving the safety of handover from Out-of-Hours to hospital care.
NHS Forth Valley has received a lot of feedback recently from patients praising the doctors and nurses who supply our Out of Hours service. Here are some of the recent comments:
“@NHS Forth Valley the doctor on out of hours last night is a credit to you! Very pleasant and helpful.” – Feedback from @Nicola3_ via Twitter.
“Our kind thanks also to Out of Hours doctor Dr Borrows, CAU and AAU staff during my father’s admission.” – Feedback from Mary McDermot.
“A huge thank you to @NHSForthValley out of hours team who phoned me tonight. What a fantastic service. Thank you very much for your help.” – Feedback from @bettyhobags on Twitter.
“Just been to @NHSForthValley out of hours, lovely Dr, daughter felt at ease, explained what he was doing. That’s person centred care. Thank you.” – Feedback from @PaulineMarland on Twitter.