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Telephone consultation, repeat prescription costs set to fall

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REDUCED costs for telephone consultations with doctors and repeat prescriptions will be introduced once the new ‘model of care’ comes into play.

Health & Social Care president Deputy Heidi Soulsby spoke about the deal at Friday's press briefing. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28298062)

At Friday’s media briefing, Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby announced more details of its primary care deal with Queen’s Road Medical Practice, with further details on the way.

‘We have been in discussions with all the medical practices,’ she said.

‘They have been absolutely fantastic during this whole crisis and they’ve had a big part to play, a huge part to play, along with the care homes, in mitigating our risk.

‘So really what the purpose has been is to formulate our arrangements with the medical practices.

‘We have already signed, as I’ve said previously, an agreement with QRMP and as a result of that there will be a reduction in costs for telephone consultations and for repeat prescriptions.’

It has been said that the coronavirus pandemic has fast-tracked a restructuring of how basic medical care will be provided in Guernsey in the future and this relatively new partnership with QRMP is the start of that.

This will involve multi-disciplinary teams and community hubs, as well as doctors’ fees, which were already under investigation, with the pandemic leading to accelerated efforts to ensure that more is done to ensure it fits all household budgets.

Deputy Soulsby said the contract covers what the island’s health care service wants to do for the future of the new model of care in line with the key principles of the Partnership of Purpose.

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‘At the moment we’ve been debating in the States about the electronic patient records [which was approved],’ she said.

‘That’s one area that we will see really close working with Queens Road in terms of being able to have that sharing of information and really being able to provide that joined-up care that people don’t see.

‘This is the key to what the purpose of that joined-up patient-centred care is, so people don’t have to restate what they’ve said to somebody else – it’s that one version of the truth which practitioners can access.’

Although HSC’s partnership with QRMP was announced at a press conference, Deputy Soulsby said not all questions regarding the relationship were relevant and it was still unknown what the cost will be, what the exact details are or why the two other primary care groups, Healthcare Group Guernsey and Island Health, are not taking part, although she did say dialogue with them was continuing.

‘We’re still in discussions with the other two practices and we’ll be able to give you more information on that next week,’ she said.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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