Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton, and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG) IMAG­INE hav­ing to book an ap­point­ment with your bank manager to find out how much money is in your ac­count.

Af­ter phon­ing to ar­range an ap­point­ment, you at­tend your lo­cal branch at a time given to you (no – you can’t go to any branch, just your lo­cal one), you wait half an hour to be called in.

Then, when you fi­nally get your pre­cious 10 min­utes, your bank manager ex­plains that, be­cause your credit card is man­aged by the branch down the road, he’ll need to re­fer you to the other bank to find out what the to­tal bal­ance is.

It sounds ridicu­lous, but it’s a sys­tem that has been work­ing in the NHS for decades – just re­place bank manager with GP and you’ll un­der­stand my gist.

Prac­tices are just as keen to change this as pa­tients are.

Em­pow­er­ing pa­tients with in­for­ma­tion and al­low­ing them to hold and un­der­stand their health data is as im­por­tant as any cur­rent ac­count.

More and more pa­tients are man­ag­ing their own blood pres­sure, their med­i­ca­tions and, through im­proved tech­nol­ogy, can ac­cess their blood re­sults and data.

By the end of the year, most lo­cal prac­tices will be able to share records with their pa­tients, se­curely and con­fi­den­tially.

The pa­ter­nal na­ture of the GP-pa­tient re­la­tion­ship will be­come a part­ner­ship.

Knowl­edge is power – and armed with your lat­est choles­terol re­sult, and blood pres­sure, you can cal­cu­late your risk of de­vel­op­ing con­di­tions like heart dis­ease and stroke.

Health checks at your lo­cal prac­tice for 40 to 75-year-olds can arm you with the in­for­ma­tion you need to un­der­stand this risk.

Speak to your prac­tice to ar­range a check-up.

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