We have now visited half of our Intervention practices and this post will be covering our 5th intervention practice: Hallett Cove Family Practice.
On Thursday 21 March the full Flinders QUEST team of Richard Reed, Leigh Roeger, Toni Chappel and Heilie Kwok visited the practice and met with the Practice Managers (Lynne Jarrad and Kathy Lovell) and Drs Gerry Healy and Justin Choong.
Hallett Cove Family Practice is one of our smaller practices with 21 participants in the trial (adults aged 18 to 64: 7 and adults aged over 65: 14).
Hallett Cove will be undergoing some major changes this coming month, as Lynne will be retiring (after having worked at the practice for 18 years) and Dr Paul Hyam will be relocating to Western Australia (he will continue to be the owner of the practice). We would like to welcome Kathy Lovell, the new Practice Manager, and Dr Justin Choong to Flinders QUEST.
When a GP in Flinders QUEST leaves the practice, we ask the practice staff to contact that doctor’s participants to discuss a new “preferred GP” with them and then let us know so we can make the changes to our data systems. We can also issue another trial ID card if participants would like this.
QUEST participants are flagged in Hallett Cove’s clinical and appointment systems. Staff felt that participants were able to gain appointments with their preferred GP on the same or next day. High levels of continuity of care (seeing the preferred GP) were evident in Hallett Cove’s data in the 12 months prior to the trial so we are confident that this will continue.
Participants are offered double appointments when they call but these have not been taken up. A possible deterrent to patients taking a double appointment is if they are charged a high gap fee. We recommend to practices not to charge a higher gap fee for longer appointments as this could be seen as inconsistent with the information provided to participants that there would not be any additional costs for them taking part in Flinders QUEST. If anyone has any questions regarding the gap payment, please give us a ring on 7221 8538 or email to email@example.com.
In terms of follow up after hospitalisation, practice staff forward the discharge summary to the doctor to review whether the participant should be contacted to make an appointment. Where an appointment is clinically indicated administrative staff from the practice will contact the participant.
We were pleased to hear that Hallett Cove staff found the Intervention practice workshop held at Flinders valuable – although it is not clear whether it was the fine food, the company of other practices or our presentations they found most enjoyable! We are planning another workshop in late May/early June where we hope as many staff as possible from all our Intervention practices can attend.
Last but not least the Flinders team would like to send Lynne and Dr Paul Hyam our very best wishes for the future. You have both been great to collaborate with, not just with Flinders QUEST, but other projects in the past. Good luck for the next chapters in your lives.