On 6 May, the Flinders QUEST team of Leigh Roeger, Toni Chappel and Heilie Kwok visited Flagstaff Hill Medical Centre. The practice has 4 GPs and 33 participants taking part in the trial. Flagstaff Hill Medical Centre has been operating for over 40 years in the area.
We had a great turn out at the meeting with 9 representatives from the practice. Flagstaff Hill has focused on providing nursing engagement in the study and Amanda (Practice Nurse) reviews QUEST participants one day a week. This provides a great opportunity to keep track of all QUEST participants and ensures that phone calls after a hospitalisation are made.
Flagstaff Hill has also blocked out reserve QUEST appointments but if participants do not inform reception staff that they are QUEST participants when making appointments these reserved slots may not always be taken up. To address this we are contacting Flagstaff’s participants to remind them that when making appointments it is important to mention to reception staff at the start of the phone call that they are QUEST participants.
Our visit to Flagstaff Hill Medical Centre completes our round of Intervention group practice visits. It has been great for the team to get out of the office and meet with Intervention group practice staff.
The main job for the Flinders QUEST team currently is the 6-month participant survey. A big thank you to practice staff in both the Intervention and Control groups for checking through your participant lists before we sent out around 1000 surveys last week. In addition to the mail-out we will schedule around 60 home visits for participants who have difficulties completing the questionnaire without assistance.
As the surveys are returned, the data is entered into our systems here and then exported for analysis. The results from the 6-month participant survey will be presented to Intervention group practices at the Intervention group workshop at Flinders in June. The results will be very interesting with hopefully some early signs of participants reporting benefits from the enhanced general practice services they have been receiving.
For those interested in where Flinders QUEST fits into the bigger political picture, the RACGP’s 2019 election statement is worthwhile reading. The statement emphasises the value of continuity of care through formalising the relationship between patients and their GPs. Secondly, the RACGP advocates for a better Medicare rebate structure to support longer consultations for complex care. Both these initiatives are at the core of Flinders QUEST ensuring that the findings of the trial will have important policy implications.