Would you benefit from working in a more relaxed manner to enhance the care you provide your patients?
Care UK’s Practice Assist service works in partnership with GP practices to provide patients with telephone consultations outside of normal opening hours or during busy periods. Cases are managed remotely and there is no paperwork to burden you.
From controlled workloads to a real emphasis on quality as well as quantity, working as a telephone consultant GP has its perks and challenges. We spoke to Dr Salmaan Khan on what it’s like to work as a telephone consultant GP in Care UK’s Practice Assist team.
Tell us about a typical day as a GP doing telephone consultation at Care UK
The doctors will triage calls for the five surgeries that we cover, at allotted times. Any administrative work that arises is handled by our call handlers. We aim to manage calls over the phone but can book patients into our reserved face-to-face slots on site.
What made you decide to work in a telephone consultation service at Care UK?
Face-to-face clinics are increasingly challenging and stressful, due to increased workloads and demand for appointments. Through telephone consulting at Care UK, where workloads are controlled and the emphasis is on quality AND quantity, I am able to work in a more relaxed manner, which in turn enhances the care I provide.
How does the role differ from being a regular GP?
As frontline staff doing triaging, we manage cases remotely with full access to medical records, but have no face-to face contact with the patients or clinical staff at the surgeries. We do not have paperwork or investigation results to review as per normal GP clinics.
What is the best bit about your day?
Working in an open office, side by side with my colleagues, as opposed to the usual solitude of general practice, thus generating team spirit and contributing to the more cohesive and stress-free environment. Such an environment enables me to enjoy my work and thus offer better clinical care.
And what is your biggest challenge?
Lack of face-to-face contact with patients, thus basing your clinical expertise upon a phone conversation. As the day progresses and face-to-face slots are taken, unwell patients calling later in the day can be more challenging to manage. However, through comprehensive history taking and good safety netting, risk is minimal.
What is it that you love most about being a GP (and specialising in telephone consultations)?
The diversity – be it of patients you encounter or the wealth of career options available within general practice. Telephone consulting is a less stressful yet highly beneficial consulting method. It requires developing different clinical skills and achieves the purpose of improving patient access and satisfaction.
What are your future career goals?
To remain part of Practice Assist and help it grow in terms of the clientele and range of services we offer. Telephone consulting is simply spearheading an ideal, which is to increase patient access through diverse means. We also utilise web consulting, video consulting, SMS services and patient apps.
What advice would you offer other GPs looking to apply to Care UK?
I would highly recommend applying to join Care UK. The organisation covers numerous different services besides the telephone triage project. However, the latter is growing in popularity and continually streamlines its services with time. It is a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience with an ever-growing team of enthusiastic colleagues.
Sum up what it’s like to work for Care UK
It is a privilege to work within a growing project of a renowned company, with a dedicated and supportive team, who share my vision for improving patient care whilst simultaneously enjoying our vocation.