May Clinical Blog
Welcome to this month’s blog. Thanks as always for taking the time to read it and I send you the warmest of wishes as we head into lighter nights and sunnier weather.
Did you know that a whole new approach is about to land in the latest reorganisation of the NHS from July 1st?
Integrated Care Systems will be established as statutory bodies overseeing entire systems of around 1m population. These will then get divided into place-based partnerships, generally covering 300-500 thousand size. Primary care networks will continue to care for populations of typically 50-80,000. Each part of this new infrastructure will be required to work together. Not just in health terms but with wider partners such as councils, social care, and education.
These changes are not just managerial. They present a great opportunity for us clinically. We will see greater opportunities to integrate with teams outside of our traditional boundaries so that we may improve overall health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.
Organisations will therefore be asked to work with clinical staff in ensuring we focus more on the people and populations we serve and less on the organisation we work for. Its going to need radical reform to sharing policies and approaches to training and education for example. The way we communicate between teams will need greater integration and we will need to move away from traditional episodic pieces of interventions and care towards more planned and preventative steps.
Clinically that will require a mindset shift in us all. Over medicalising societal issues is not the way we want clinical staff to be thinking or working. Issuing medication when alternative solutions are better targeted at the root cause must be one way, we change the clinical model. Insomnia is aided in some cases by medication. But we also know if the cause of insomnia is say, loneliness, unless we tackle the root cause, patients will revolve in and out of services.
I said last month that self-compassion is at the heart of becoming a valued clinician in the wider system. To care for oneself first should free us as clinicians to provide support and advice needed to wider partners we will be working alongside in the near future.
Self-compassion is a practice of goodwill, not good feelings… With self-compassion we mindfully accept that the moment is painful, and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response, remembering that imperfection is part of the shared human experience.
My Top Tips to Improve your self-compassion
Treat yourself as you’d treat a friend – why not find time to do something you love and more often – as well as being kind on yourself, your own need for rest and peace.
Become more self-aware – knowing how your reaction lands on others is vital. A positive and open working relationship with partners improves patient safety.
Regain self-perspective – clinically we are often our own worst critics – how often do you worry you could have handled a situation or an outcome differently and when do you gain perspective? We are all human and we all learn daily. Overall perspective is always better than focussing on one or two negative things in your life.
Until next time – stay safe – keep smiling and keep adding value – we are most grateful for what you do. David