• Tara Humphrey

The Future of General Practice | A Gen Y Perspective

As a project manager and business consultant supporting primary care, I’m immersed in issues surrounding general practice, and I’m involved in supporting NHS leaders to implement a variety of solutions and interventions to drive change.

However, recently I realised that having an “inside knowledge” on the various developing initiatives to improve out-of-hospital care; I often forget about my own perspective as a patient and user of the NHS.

Born in 1981, I am a Gen Y, full-time working mum to 3 children, one of which lives with the long-term kidney condition; nephrotic syndrome with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. My husband and I are frequent visitors to my daughters’ Nephrologist based  60 miles away and our local hospital consultant, along with the usual trips to the GP's for general child-related illnesses and infections.

Knowing the demands on GP's, I desperately try not to go to the GP if I can help it, and don’t really mind that I see a different doctor each time, but when taking a second thought from a mum and patient perspective, there are a few things which I consider basic that I would like to see the future of primary care develop.

  • Online / Virtual appointments as standard would be great! We don’t have to be there in person for all consultations and surely it's only just a matter of time, private companies are already doing it.  The technology is there, and the GEN Y and Millennial generation are ready.

  • Also, YouTube, Skype, Snap Chat and Instagram are permanent fixtures on my phone. Why isn't my general practice utilising these channels to communicate with me?  Why does my general practice only communicate the services available, warning signs, etc. when I go into the surgery and not proactively before? It’s not hard, it's not expensive, and it’s 2016!

  • Another aspect related to technology that would be welcomed would be the ability for my blood tests to be taken in practice and the results given in minutes. What can I say, us Gen Y’s are impatient. There must be a quicker and easier way than the current process of having this done in a hospital.

Lastly, I want to be assured that my general practice invests in training for all members of the practice team. I know it can be expensive and hard to release staff due to issues with back-fill but, to be able to provide the best possible care, regular training and education is a must.

It will be interesting to see if these (on the surface) simple requests become the norm or if they will forever remain on my wish list.