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A New Dawn, a New Day, a New Era for the Health Care Drive Thru

It is well documented that the pace of change in general practice has sky-rocketed due to remote working and practices embracing digital technologies. All introduced at an accelerated pace to keep both patients and staff safe as we try to combat Covid-19.

Along with the rise of digital technologies, drive-thru services are also being highlighted as another alternative way to deliver care and support.

Bromley GP Alliance has launched their first phlebotomy drive-in clinic for vulnerable and shielding patients, along with one clinic per week for those with Covid-19 related symptoms.

Newham Central 1 Primary Care Network has introduced a drive-thru baby immunisation clinic which was recently featured on BBC Breakfast.

There are also many GP Federations and Primary Care Networks which now have established drive-thru hot hub clinics to assess those reporting Covid-19 related symptoms.

Why? Because it reduces the time of the consultation appointment. It also limits the exposure between patients and professionals to prevent the spread of the virus.

This is just the start

The drive-thru is an innovation that dates back to the 1930s and could now become a mainstay of the health care landscape in the UK. To accompany these drive thru’s I think there is an immense opportunity for healthcare providers to partner with well-known brands to deliver public health campaigns and other services.

For those without a car, and for when social distancing reduces, walk-thru services in visitor attractions could also be an option.

I see you raising your eyebrows at this, but now is the time to think differently and to continue to look to other industries for ideas.

It doesn’t have to be rocket science, however, it does require imagination, commitment, constructive challenge, planning and the willingness to try a different approach.

Questions to spark creativity

  1. Think of your favourite brand. What is it about their brand, service or product that you enjoy so much? Are there any principles that could be applied to your practice?

  2. Think of a brand from which you’ve experienced terrible service. What could they do to make that service better? Are there any principles that could be applied to your practice?

  3. What have you been talking about for years but have never done? Well…… now might be the time for action my friend.

A new approach

  • Replace BUT with AND

  • Replace CAN’T with CAN WE?


If you are already quietly getting on with this stuff, please do share, we want to learn and by you taking the leap, it gives others permission to try.

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Tara Humphrey is the founder of THC Primary Care, a leading healthcare consultancy. Tara and her team work with GP Federations and Primary Care Networks implementing their; projects, clinical contracts and network fundamentals, with the aim of saving them time, money and stress.

Tara has over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sector.

Tara also has an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, is a Certified Core Strengths Facilitator, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and is the author of over 150 blogs.

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