We are partnering with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to raise awareness of how good patient communications can empower people to become more active in managing their health and care including accessing their records.
The project is run in partnership with the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC), which works to support GPs and practice staff in delivering better quality care to their patients. The CIRC supports projects that link with important areas of innovation, including person-centered care and collaborative care and support planning.
The PRSB project will focus on our national standards for the communication of information from secondary care to general practice for outpatient appointments and hospital discharge.
Evidence shows that patients often leave hospital without a clear understanding of their diagnosis, their care plan and/or the medication they have been prescribed. There are pockets of good practice across the UK where consultants now routinely write to patients after their outpatient appointment to address some of these issues. There is a growing call to action from a number of consultants and professional bodies that this should be standard good practice.
Working with the RCGP, we will demonstrate through NHS examples how high-quality communication following discharge from hospital (either as and in or outpatient) impacts on patients, their families and GPs.
Through practical examples, this project will show how good communication and information sharing can help patents to understand and better manage their own conditions, as well as supporting their families and carers. Explicit communication, either in writing or through a portal can support patients during their ongoing care with medication and treatment advice, reducing anxieties for both them and their families. They are both able to participate better in the shared-decision making process with the primary care team and become actively involved in their own care.
We will also demonstrate how good information sharing can benefit health and care professionals, with research showing that writing to patients after appointments help doctors to develop and refine their communication skills.
While we have established the importance of communication between professionals through our standards, this project will show how information sharing can benefit everyone, including patients and their families.
The next stages of the work are currently being finalised by the PRSB and RCGP.
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