GPs roll up their sleeves to support colleagues at Queen's Hospital

GPs Dr Anil Mehta and Dr Jagan John spent a shift supporting their colleagues at Queen's Hospital who have been working flat out.

GPs Dr Anil Mehta and Dr Jagan John spent a shift supporting their colleagues at Queen's Hospital who have been working flat out. - Credit: NELCSU

The chairmen of Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham clinical commissioning groups (CCG) spent a shift supporting colleagues caring for patients at Queen's Hospital.

Dr Anil Mehta, Redbridge CCG chairman, and Dr Jagan John, Barking and Dagenham CCG chairman, joined frontline colleagues for a shift on January 2, with more GPs expected to lend their skills to help out.

Not only did they provide valuable help in looking after patients, they were also able to see where improvements could be made between frontline care and community services.

Donna Walker, consultant geriatrician at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) said their support made a huge difference.

She said: "It's really tough on weekends. Often I come home so exhausted I could cry and this was the first time I didn't quite get to that point."

The benefits worked both ways with the GPs seeing how much strain hospital staff are under, while providing a fresh pair of eyes on the ward.

She added: “What was really useful was their help as generalists, which allowed me to provide more high quality, specialist care to patients.

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"They were able to see where there are bottlenecks in the local healthcare system, so they can now look at community pathways and see where we can make things better, faster and more efficient."

Speaking after the visit, Dr John said: "Dr Mehta and I quickly realised how important it was to support our colleagues as they were working flat out.

“GPs are by nature generalists, and Anil and I both found that this was a great advantage on the wards – and a help to our colleagues – as we have a skillset of managing all types of conditions and all types of issues.

“Diabetes is a big issue locally and so, as expected, we saw a lot of diabetics who were really core general practice patients. We could discharge them with clear instructions for our GP colleagues."

BHRUT chief medical officer Magda Smith said she is looking forward to welcoming more GPs to their wards to help out during such a challenging time.

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