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 News Stories

12:26
Alan Cartwright, who was killed in Caledonian Road on Friday

A Camden man arrested over the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Islington has been released on bail.

12:00
Lynne Featherstone. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

For better or for worse, the last five years are likely to go down as Lynne Featherstone’s most memorable in politics.

15:00
Freddie Poser (left) and Zak Cutner. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Two teenage schoolboys have created a Tinder-style smartphone app, linked to politicians’ Twitter accounts, to engage young people with politics ahead of the general election.

13:00
Cllr Theo Blackwell.

The cost of hiring library spaces in Camden will be up to six times higher from next month as the council bids to close a multimillion pound funding gap.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Thousands of people have signed a petition urging Facebook to remove the ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ emoticon options.

#TheDress features in a poignant Salvation Army campaign against domestic violence.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder