Residents of Haringey are about to benefit from a raft of improvements to the healthcare services available at their local GP surgeries and community pharmacies.
As part of the NHS North Central London three year primary care strategy programme, Haringey is about to introduce access schemes designed to make more GP appointments available to those that need them along with measures to help those at risk of heart disease and stroke and people suffering from obesity or alcohol-related health issues.
To improve access to healthcare appointments, practices are introducing new measures such as telephone triage, whereby a clinician speaks to patients by telephone in the first instance, advising on the spot, where possible, and in this way freeing up appointments for others.
Haringey is also piloting a project to install dedicated fitness pods to measure blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) in fifteen GP practice waiting rooms across the borough. Patients can rapidly check their blood pressure and BMI while waiting for their appointment, notifying the receptionist of their results. In this way patients with abnormal results can be fast-tracked for preventative treatment to help them avoid heart disease and stroke. Selected pharmacies across the borough will also be offering health checks to improve uptake and signpost patients at risk of heart disease or stroke to appropriate services.
Haringey patients will soon be able to enjoy the convenience of SMS text message reminders of appointments and immunisations, with the ability to cancel by return text message, as these text messaging services continue to be installed in GP practices across Haringey.
An ‘Active for Life’ physical fitness programme is being introduced for GPs to refer patients with obesity problems, while nurses, counsellors and allied health professionals specialising in alcohol-related problems are being recruited to work with GP practices and reduce the need for alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Dr Helen Pelendrides, Chair of Haringey’s Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This investment in primary care means that Haringey residents will benefit from improvements to the healthcare services available at their local GP surgeries, community pharmacies and health centres, allowing them to access more and better quality services closer to home.”
Implementation of these measures began in September 2012. More exciting plans to improve primary healthcare in Haringey are in the pipeline and will be rolled out over the coming months.
To see more about the primary care strategy at work in Haringey visit http://www.ncl.nhs.uk/future-planning/primary-care-strategy/haringey-implementation-plans