Hampshire GP and cardiology specialist Dr Peter Savill says that improved information is making a big difference to his patients.
Based at Watercress Medical, Mansfield Park Surgery, Medstead, Dr Savill is a GP and GPwSI in Cardiology in Southampton. GPwSI (General Practitioners with a Special Interest) supplement their main GP role by delivering an additional high quality service in a particular area of expertise to meet the needs of patients. Dr Savill runs three clinics a week in Southampton for Solent NHS Trust and works one day a week for Southampton University Hospital Trust seeing patients referred with cardiac problems.
What's the problem?
“In the past, when patients were referred to me, I didn’t have access to their GP or hospital records, just the information included by the patient's GP in their referral letter. I take a full medical history but sometimes patients can't remember exactly when they had a specific test or what the result was. Also, with so many tests available, patients are not always sure which ones they have been given. This can result in tests being repeated unnecessarily, or a patient’s diagnosis may be delayed because I didn't have access to the results during their consultation.
What's happening now?
“Currently everyone in Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight has a record containing their name, address and NHS number. However, the HHR does not always include their GP and specialist information. Although more and more GPs are sending their patient information to the HHR and the number of hospitals using the system is increasing, only around 40 to 50 per cent of my patients have useful information in their HHR. For those who do it isn’t too strong a term to say it has transformed their care.
“Now I have access to the HHR which includes a summary of the patient’s GP information and results from tests requested by specialists. I access this information during the consultation or while the patient is having standard tests carried out such as an ECG. These tests take about 10 minutes, so during this time I check the patient's medical history and am in a much better position to make a diagnosis.
And the future?
“Hopefully, as more and more people have their GP and hospital records on the HHR my job will get easier and patient care will continue to improve. It’s a real information revolution in Hampshire and soon the rest of the country could be following suit. As someone who uses the HHR in my clinical work, I would urge all health professionals to use the system to see how it can help them as well as their patients.”
Hampshire is leading the way in storing and using summary information about patients and their health needs through the ground-breaking Hampshire Health Record.Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 11:02