East Devon GP surgeries to get £1.8million cash injection

PUBLISHED: 15:02 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 21 February 2018

Axminster Medical Practice

Axminster Medical Practice

Archant

Patients to benefit from new technology in local practices including Axminster and Seaton

GP surgeries across East Devon are getting a £1.8million shot in the arm.

The NHS cash will fund technology to help them provide better care to patients.

East Devon Health, a federation of 13 GP practices in the area – including Axminster, Seaton and Colyton, has been awarded the money over three years by the NHS England Estates and Technology Transformation Fund (ETTF).

The planned improvements to care include:

• Making it easier for GPs to get advice from specialists – about a skin lesion, for instance.

• Conducting consultations by video.

• Enabling patients to review their medications online.

• Learning about conditions through online videos and information sites.

• Trialling a system that provides patients with a video of their consultation.

• Using technology to improve communication between patients and GPs.

• Developing a single online source to let people know what services are available locally.

The funding will also help practices run more efficiently behind the scenes – for example, by:

• Using video conferencing to improve communications.

• Improving the way doctors and nurses use medical records on computers.

• Allowing better access to patient records.

• Providing doctors and nurses with computers for home working.

• Linking practices with an improved telephone network.

• Reducing paper usage.

Dr Jim Forrer, GP partner and head of ‘Connect’ – the project in East Devon - said: “This funding will provide patients with greater choice in terms of communicating with their GP, reviewing consultations or learning about treatments and medication. It’ll also enable patients to get the help they need more quickly.

“But we fully appreciate that patients may not have access to the internet, a computer or a smartphone, and that not everyone is confident of using technology. If you prefer seeing your GP in the traditional way, of course you’ll be free to do so.

“It’s not about imposing changes on anyone. This funding will give people a choice and better access to healthcare – by providing new and better ways of getting better and staying well.”

* East Devon Health focuses on the needs of the East Devon population and works together to provide high quality care.

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