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LTC care model could lower admin load

A long-term condition (LTC) patient self-care approach will highlight how much a nurse's time is "wasted" on admin duties in general practices, it is claimed.

The 'care planning' model moves away from the practice of defining a patient by their LTC and seeks to strengthen the relationship between a patient and their GP.

By looking at all aspects of a patient's life, rather than focusing solely on their medical condition, it is argued a GP is better equipped to guide and engage with a patient.

Through allowing a patient and GP relationship to mature, it is claimed more 'adult conversations' will follow, enabling a GP to offer more personalised advice rather than dictating a course of treatment.

"It was great to have someone that cares and doesn't just want to tick a box," said Christine Searle, a patient at NHS Tower Hamlets, which piloted the Care Planning approach.

"It is very important to not just focus on a person's LTC but how it impacts their day-to-day life. This change in approach led to me controlling my diabetes rather than it controlling me."

The care planning 'house model' aims to identify the infrastructure and interdependencies needed within a general practice team to make the approach a reality.

Dr Isabel Hodkinson, GP Diabetes Lead for NHS Tower Hamlets, told Nursing In Practice the house model highlights the necessity for nurses to be relieved of time-consuming admin tasks.

"General practice nurses do not have the administration support they need," she said.

"Their skills should not be wasted on getting caught up filling in paperwork."

Once a general practice adopts the care planning approach, Hodkinson argues by adopting the care planning approach, a general practice is given the chance to recruit an administrator to take the admin workload off its nursing staff, making them far more productive.

According to Department of Health figures, people with LTC's account for more than 50% of all general practice appointments, 65% of outpatient appointments and over 70% of inpatient bed delays. This amounts to 70% of the total health and social spend in England.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), claims the new approach will save the NHS time and money by reducing hospital admissions, A&E attendance and medication expenditure.

Royal College of General Practitioners