Improving the quality of life for patients with Long Term Conditions

Our practice has recognised the importance of regularly monitoring patients who are suffering from Long Term Conditions. As a result, we have recently invited two specialists into the practice in order to provide face-to-face consultations. These clinics have helped to ensure that patients are on the optimal medication for their condition, they have also provided an opportunity to provide patients with useful lifestyle advice which will benefit their health and quality of life.

Recently the practice has reviewed patients who are suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and patients who have a condition called Atrial Fibrillation.

Diabetes Clinic

As part of our practice’s goal to improve the quality of services we provide our patients, we recently invited Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Philippa Ryan into the surgery to hold a series of specialist Type 2 Diabetes clinics.

Type 2 Diabetes is a serious condition which affects the way the body processes glucose. If it is not managed properly patients are at increased risk of heart disease, kidney failure and lower limp amputation among other things. The practice reviewed its patient list and identified all of those patients who are currently finding it difficult to manage their condition effectively. Each patient was invited to a consultation with Philippa where she discussed their condition, provided them with lifestyle advice and recommended changes to therapy if this was required. She also provided each patient with literature from Diabetes UK which will help to support them to make the right lifestyle changes in future.

Our Practice Nurse, Catherine Rooney supported the Diabetes Nurse Specialist with the clinics. This gave Catherine a fantastic opportunity to avail of education surrounding the management of Type 2 Diabetes first hand. As a result, the on-going management of our Type 2 Diabetes patients will be improved through the upskilling of our Practice Nurse.

Atrial Fibrillation Clinic

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a medical condition which places patients at a high risk of an AF-related stroke. However, the risk of suffering from a debilitating stroke is significantly reduced if the patient receives anticoagulation medication.

To improve the quality of life of our patients who are ently in AF, we decided to identify those patients who are suffering from AF but who are not currently being anti-coagulated. These patients were invited to a face-to-face review with Consultant Cardiologist Joe Mills who works for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Mr Mills reviewed each of the patients with the practice during a specialist AF clinic.

Patients had the opportunity to discuss their condition with him in detail and decide upon the best anticoagulation therapy for them.

Mr Mills also reviewed a small number of patients who are currently on anticoagulation therapy, but who are not ‘within range’. This means that although they are receiving medication, a number of lifestyle factors mean that they are not been effectively anti-coagulated. During these consultations, Mr Mills provided patients with lifestyle advice to help them manage their condition, in some cases, their therapy was changed if deemed appropriate.

During the AF clinics, GPs within the practice availed of education around AF and its management. This means that going forward, new patients who are diagnosed with AF will be able to receive evidence-based best practice on how their condition should be treated.