Search

Check-ups over Skype to be introduced as Camden GPs adapt to ‘challenging finances’

09:28 15 April 2014

Dr Caz Sayer, chair of Camden CCG

Dr Caz Sayer, chair of Camden CCG

Archant

Check-ups over Skype and more care in the home are just some of the ways GPs in Camden are trying to adapt patient care to an evermore challenging financial landscape.

The rollout of innovative technology – like video conferencing, data capturing and digital medical records – along with extending treatment out into the community, are being seen as key to combating Camden’s long-standing health problems.

The borough suffers a disproportionately high level of mental health issues and faces challenges with helping patients with complex needs and reducing illnesses resulting from social inequalities.

The new “innovation” vision comes as the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for Camden marks its first anniversary since taking over Primary Care Trusts in April 2013.

The reorganisation was intended to give GPs more control over their budgets and more of a say in what health care services were needed for their patients.

Budgets set for primary health care have, by and large, remained flat in Camden at a time when GPs are reporting longer working hours amidst higher patient demand.

Chairman of Camden CCG, Dr Caz Sayer, who was a GP for 20 years at Adelaide Road Medical Practice, Belsize Park, admitted the group faced a “dwindling 
financial situation” but that innovation would be key to ensuring care did not suffer.

“There’s no new money for us, but the money we do have is currently in the wrong place,” she said.

“We need to reduce unnecessary wastage, improve efficiency of care and make the most out of what we’ve got.

“The financial situation will get more difficult over the years, but this can be combated by greater innovation.”

New technology is being seen as vital to saving money.

Plans are in place to fit GP surgeries in Camden with video conferencing equipment that will 
allow patients to have appointments over Skype from the comfort of their own home – something Dr Sayer says is of particular interest to those in the 19 to 40-year-old bracket.

More controversially, digitalisation of medical records is also in the pipeline.

Data protection, especially medical, is an increasing concern for patients as information becomes more easily shareable and vulnerable to leaks or theft.

But Dr Sayer insists residents in Camden will be well protected. “We’re the only CCG to have 
accredited safe haven status, meaning the data will be secure within our system,” she said. “And it’s all only done with the patients’ consent.

“The roll-out of Skype facilities to our GP practices is also all about extending access to GPs.

“There are certain things that can easily be dealt with over video calls – but it’s important to point out we don’t think it will replace face-to-face consultations.”

As funding for NHS services 
remains a concern for patients and health staff, how far innovation can take a service already under strain will be the main challenge for the CCG as it goes into its second year.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Yesterday, 17:03
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Yesterday, 15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Yesterday, 13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Yesterday, 13:33
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Yesterday, 12:39
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Thu, 15:57
The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe