"For many patients with diabetes, medication is essential to help them manage their condition and live a good quality of life.
"But we also know that making straightforward lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy and balanced diet, losing weight and exercising more can prevent, delay, or sometimes even reverse Type 2 diabetes.
"GPs and our teams will have these often quite sensitive conversations with our patients, but our profession is currently operating under intense resource pressures and there is a limit to what we can realistically do within the constraints of the standard 10-minute consultation – and offering longer appointments means offering fewer appointments at a time when patients are already waiting too long to see their GP.
"Ultimately, we need to see the delivery of NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises an extra £2.4bn for general practice and 5,000 more GPs, as well as our additional ask of £2.5bn extra a year as part of the forthcoming NHS long-term plan, to ensure we can give more time to all of our patients, including those with diabetes."
RCGP Wales says the findings of a report on IT in the Welsh NHS demonstrates the need to improve digital technology
- 21 NHS Wales data outages in the first 6 months of 2018 – one every 9 days
- A slow pace of delivery of modern informatics systems across the NHS in Wales
- Delays in the delivery of electronic patient records, risking making it outdated by the time it is achieved
"Quite clearly this report raises some alarming findings about the weaknesses of IT in the Welsh NHS, findings which may look familiar to those working in it.
"Today, IT systems are as critical to clinicians as stethoscopes and scanners. Data outages can be extraordinarily disruptive for practices and for patients. They affect appointments, prescriptions and the nuts and bolts of a functioning practice and can take hours to recover from. Unfortunately these data outages are becoming all too common, leaving GPs scrambling to find solutions or workarounds while waiting rooms fill up.
"Embracing safe, reliable and innovative technology will be vital for the future of healthcare, but that will be undermined if the Welsh NHS cannot get its IT right. Whether it's the basics like appointment booking, or larger projects such as electronic prescribing or electronic patient records, we need IT that works.
"This report needs to kickstart a process that improves digital technology in the Welsh NHS, supporting and enabling practices to offer improved services for patients."
Dr Saul also highlighted the impact that IT migrations will have for many practices:
"It's also important to remember that many GP practices will soon be having to change the software they use in their practice, following NHS Wales' tendering process earlier in the year. This will add further disruption to the wider issues the report has identified, and the College is re-iterating its call for the Welsh Government to ensure practices get the support they need."
- England (Pioneer): Dr Muhammed Akunjee created ProActiveGP Virtual Clinic, which makes contacting patients more efficient, automated, and safer. It also reduces face-to-face GP appointments through pre-emptive SMS messaging, freeing them up for patients with more pressing clinical needs
- England (High Impact): Patient Shirley Bull introduced a low-cost method to reduce missed appointments using behavioural psychology
- Northern Ireland (High Impact): Dr Rose McCullagh introduced a CBT pain management course in her practice, which has reduced long waiting times for treatment at a pain clinic
- Scotland (Pioneer): Dr Shawkat Hasan has implemented a Career Start GP Programme - a two-year post designed for First5 GPs. The post lets GPs choose from a combination of studies alongside a traditional practice job, as well as protected time to undertake a specialist diploma if they want to
- Wales (High Impact): Dr Sue Goodfellow created a more streamlined appointment system by putting senior clinicians on the frontline of triage. This means those with the greatest health need are dealt with first, and face-to face-appointment time is used more appropriately
- Wales (Pioneer): Dr Arfon Williams, introduced a combination of several small, unassuming practice modifications, which together brought sustainable workload for the team, increased morale and increased patient satisfaction