Consultant Genito-Urinary Medicine Interview
Tell me about the 48 hour access target...
• Offering appointments to all within 48 hours of first contact of patient, irrespective of symptoms complained of i.e. symptomatic or asymptomatic
• Rationale is that the quicker patients are seen the less risk of onward transmission within community
• Part of Government initiative on improving sexual health
• Prompt diagnosis and treatment is a cornerstone of good STI control
• Increasing rates of STI’s in UK coupled with long waiting times in GUM clinics prompted need for improved capacity within SH services.
• National target of 100% clients to be offered an appointment within 48 hrs of first contact. This was achieved by:
o Clinic expansion and asymptomatic screening clinics
o Better signposting between GP’s and GUM clinics
o Effective use of triage ie asymptomatic patients seen in nurse led clinics, reducing unnecessary follow up for results
o Use of home based treatment for certain conditions such as “genital warts” releasing more appointments
• There is a measure of flexibility for patients who wish to make appointments >48 hours ahead.
• Services achieving high rates of 48 hour access are seen as working more efficiently
Pitfalls to avoid
• Remember targets are there to improve patient services, it often means changing work practices, and can be challenging for you
• Concentrate on patient benefits rather than difficulties for you
• Whilst it may not be convenient for everyone to be seen within 48 hours, always see it from a public health perspective