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Greenwich Parent Voice

Getting the most out of your GP

Greenwich Parent Voice met today with the Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group, focusing on the clinical issues raised by parents in our recent health survey. We spoke with the Joint Assistant Director for Medicines Management, Rena Amin and GCCG Governing Body member and local GP Sabah Salman as well as Children's Commissioner for the CCG, Kelly Sylvester. We are pleased to tell you about these improvements to your child's experience with their local GP.

New ASD training for GPs
We discussed the overwhelming message from parents that they would like more consideration for  the needs of children with ASD when coming to see their GP. We will be offering a session on the challenges facing carers to GPs and the GCCG will also ask the local authority to provide an optional ASD training course for doctors, including registrars (GPs in training). Ask your GP to subscribe to this training via the Patient Participation Group (see below).

Add your child to the GP's Disability Register
Every GP surgery has a register which flags up if a child has a learning difficulty or SEND but you have to ask to put your child on this to make sure they are listed. The benefits are many, including asking your practice to send a text when the doctor has delays and general flags so that your child is given more personalised care.  

Children and young people with SEND: Free Annual Check-up
Your GP offers a full annual health check for your child with learning difficulties, including ASD. This check is valuable for keeping on top of day-to-day health issues which may fall under the radar of other specialists. The GP can give your child this comprehensive, general check and refer onto other services if required.

Developing a good relationship with your GP is essential for supporting your child into adulthood. As a carer you can also use the opportunity to discuss your health needs in the room, if possible, by asking for double appointment. It's worth making sure your child with SEND is on the surgery Learning Difficulties/ Disability register, it means you can add notes to their file eg: if a doctor is delayed for appointments, creating a longer wait which your child may struggle with, they can send a text to notify you. It also gives GPs the chance to identity you as a carer and make sure your health needs can be met.

Make improvements to your GP practice via the Patient Participation Group  
You are invited to make your surgery or practice more SEND friendly by joining their Patient Participation Group. They usually meet quarterly and welcome your ideas on how to meet the needs of all their patients.  We hope you will join with us in trying to remove the barriers to good health for children with SEND and get involved. Go to your surgery website for details of how to join, and for more information have a look at this website: https://www.napp.org.uk/index.html

Help with medicines via the new Practice Based Pharmacists 
Parents have told us they worry that the cost pressures on doctors may lead to GPs prescribing drugs based on price rather than clinical benefit. We were reassured that this is not the case. Sometimes misunderstandings arise when being given a pill vs a liquid or generic vs a branded medicine. GPs work closely with their governing bodies and NHS England and follow strict guidelines around prescribing. Safety and efficacy always come first. A good example of this is when a liquid might be easier to measure out at home, however the licensed tablet version is more reliable in terms of actual content per dose. 

A new pilot scheme launching soon will provide a network of Practice Based Pharmacists in GPs around Greenwich, who can liaise between your hospital specialist and your GP when required. We will post more about this when we have an update.

We will be meeting quarterly with the GCCG and it's vital to have your feedback so we can develop the GP service that your child needs. Your thoughts, suggestions and experiences are essential so let us know at info@greenwichparentvoice.com. Thank you.