On 27 March 2012 the Health and Social Care Bill finally gained Royal Assent. After more than a year of being shuttled between the House of Commons and The Lords and having survived more than 1,000 amendments the Bill will usher in some far reaching changes to the way in which the NHS operates. Chief among the changes are:
• Devolving power and a large slice of the NHS budget to doctors and front line nurses
• Reducing bureaucracy with two layers of management being cut entirely
• A renewed focus on integration and quality outcomes
• A shift in power away from Whitehall with local authorities being made responsible for public health alongside local authority representation on health boards
All of these changes open up opportunities for healthcare professionals such as osteopaths,
chiropractors and physiotherapists to work more closely with their local GP practices in providing optimum healthcare for patients. These opportunities do however come at a price. Local managers are going to be looking for tight cost control and efficiencies and businesses which can step up to the mark are more likely to be the winners when it comes to attracting business.
One key way in which health practitioners can make an instant impression is in the way in which they operate their telephone answering and appointment booking systems. Put simply, fund holders looking to keep control on costs are less likely to appoint practitioners who require multiple telephone calls before appointments are made.
This is where the Clinic Appointments service comes into its own. Staffed by healthcare trained receptionists, the Clinic Appointments service not only answers calls but can also manage diaries, invoice clients and even organise clinical notes. This means that whether you are a UK healthcare clinic, osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or even offer massage, beauty, medical and other health services you can concentrate on providing a great service to clients while we take care of the booking and paperwork.
All this means that you can more easily provide quality assurances to your local GP practice which will in turn have the added comfort of knowing that they can make appointments at any time, whether or not you are with patients when they call. And for health practitioners our diary/appointment reminder service means a reduction in missed appointments, ensuring you are operating nearer to capacity.
Commentators have said that in a way the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill was the easy part and that the hard work starts here. Making sure that calls are answered is a great first step.