Since 2007 we have been working in partnership with NHS health boards to increase the uptake of Anticipatory Care programmes such as Keep Well and the National Bowel Screening Programme.
In that time we have engaged over 3500 patients who were considered “hard to engage” in a variety of primary prevention screening programmes. We have also delivered workforce development programmes for over 300 NHS staff in Better Engagement Skills. This training programme has been delivered in every health board in Scotland and we worked in partnership with NHS Health Scotland to develop an on-line version of this course.
Keep Well is a cardio-vascular screening programme aimed at preventing premature mortality from heart disease in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland. Since 2007 we have delivered specialised outreach services on behalf of the NHS Boards involved in Keep Well and have engaged with over 3000 individuals, enabling them to benefit from NHS health screening and follow-on services.
Around 250,000 people in Scotland have diabetes (twice as many as 10 years ago) and the NHS in Scotland spends over £1 billion on the condition, with 80% of this going into managing avoidable complications. That’s why GP clinics that promote the active management of the condition are important.
What we found from working with GP practices in South West Glasgow, however, was that a persistent group of around 10% of patients were not attending their scheduled annual check-up at these clinics, and were often neglecting their care. Commissioned to undertake a small-scale trial to increase attendance at the clinics, we worked closely with four GP practices to systematically identify and engage positively with this group of serial non-attenders. The results of the trial showed that we were able to re-connect 80% of the ‘hard-to-engage’ patients with their GP practice compared to a ‘control’ GP practice in the area that achieved no increase at all through using traditional communication methods.