To make a difference the medicine has to be right.
Clinical excellence is what we strive for. Our patients are amongst the sickest in the country. We know this because life expectancy is lower where we work than other areas, morbidity is higher, patients have multiple diseases and there are higher levels of smoking, excess alcohol and other health-damaging behaviours. People go to their doctors later in their illnesses. Our doctors and nurses are amongst some of the brightest and most capable. And they are working extremely hard to chip away and get people better.
Since opening our Hollinwood practice our doctors have diagnosed 24 cancers in patients who have been with the practice less than a month. This means the cancer was already there, it just hadn’t been found yet.
Our nursing staff offer all patients who are smokers over 40 tests looking at how their lungs function. From this simple test we have diagnosed 18 patients with lung disease. Following diagnosis patients are seen by the doctor to explain the diagnosis, are encouraged to attend stop smoking sessions and given any medication that will help them. They are also followed up every year to see how they are getting along.
As part of our new patient check we screen everyone over 40 for diabetes. We also offer drop-in sessions for people to be checked for diabetes. From this we have identified patients with diabetes before they had symptoms. This allows us to work together to ensure the best diet, exercise and if necessary drugs can be given.
Our doctors practise dealing with emergencies regularly. Dr Smith had practised dealing with a child with suspected meningitis a week before. He was working at the walk-in centre when a very sick baby came in. Dr Smith suspected the baby had meningitis. He quickly gave the baby the life-saving shot of antibiotics. The baby was rushed to hospital. Four days later the father returned to the health centre, to thank Dr Smith and inform him that the hospital stated the GP had saved the baby’s life.
We actively treat heart disease and high blood pressure, and encourage patients to stop smoking, eat well and look after themselves. In 2012, across 2 of our sites with over 4,000 patients, not one of our patients had a heart attack; this is an amazing achievement. Amongst our diabetic patients the amount of sugar in their blood dropped significantly, reducing the risk that they will have problems in the future. This drop in sugar is achieved through patients’ hard work, some clever medications and doctors who keep thinking hard.