Recently, there has been campaigning for more available face-to-face doctor appointments, and choice beyond telephone or online consultations. New guidance to help improve patient choices has also emphasised that patients ‘should be treated consistently’.
Research has recognised that continuity of care is an essential element of modern general practice and is a prerequisite for high-quality consultations. In fact, evidence shows that the prioritising of continuity of care in any healthcare setting is associated with greater patient satisfaction and lower mortality.
So here we look at what continuity of care really means, and why it is so important.
Importance of Continuity of Care
Continuity of care is concerned with the quality of care delivered to patients over time whereby a continuous, caring relationship is developed between the patient and their doctor.
Having a high level of consistent care is a vital element of general practice. Consistency allows both the patient and doctor to build a therapeutic relationship. It also allows each patient’s individual circumstance to be understood.
It implies more than technical skill as it involves palpable caring as shown by compassion and commitment. The trust that a patient has in his or her doctor that underpins the power of the relationship. With time, this level of trust becomes stronger as the doctor and patient grow to know each other better through experience.
Time is Precious
Research has shown that relationships are built between the patient and their doctor through repeatedly meeting to consult. During the consultation, the patient discusses their issue as the doctor aims to make sense of the situation. Then, they agree together on what the best actionable steps are in order to manage the situation.
For several years GPs have found that their consultation times feel pressurised. But research has shown that spending more time with patients is associated with better outcomes.
Continuity of Care at The Mayfair GP
At The Mayfair GP, we believe strongly in personal connection and continuity of care for our patients. With our continued support, patients can navigate their way through sometimes very complex health issues.
We want to deliver the kind of care that we believe our patients deserve – one of the reasons why we offer home visits. Patients can take all the time that they need to talk to us about their health concerns in a thorough consultation. In return, we offer our support, compassion and reassurance at every step of the way.
Get in touch today if you want to find out more about our devoted doctor-led care.