Healthguides and Care pathways - what are they?
These pathways have been developed following extensive discussion between clinicians - GPs, consultants, nurses and other health professionals - and managers from across Tameside & Glossop to help improve the quality of care delivered to our local patient population and to ensure greater consistency of the care we provide whether in General Practice or at your local hospitals.
An outline of what this means for patients is provided below, always feel free to ask your GP or Practice Nurse to explain anything which you don't fully understand if your are using any of these guides.
- The pathways are an evidence-based guideline to help patients and clinicians to understand how best to manage certain conditions.
- Guidelines start with a suspected problem that you may have that you come to your GP or nurse with and explain what sorts of things your doctor or nurse should consider doing:
- when a patient should be referred to the hospital
- what may happen when you get to the hospital including further investigations and operations
- which treatment options or appropriate choices are available
- what should happen when you are discharged from the hospital back to your GP or home
- You can see the evidence that has been used to develop these pathways and when that evidence is due to be updated (because of course we are all learning new things all the time so a guideline developed last year may be out of date now).
How can they be used?
You can use Map of Medicine pathways as a sound basis to have a discussion with your clinician or others about what needs to happen next. Having access to your GP electronic health record greatly improves your understanding of what has happened until now and also helps you to schedule future tests and investigations. Your clinician will be able to work with you to determine what should happen next and when it may be in your interest to do something different for your particular circumstances i.e the different treatment options that might be available.
Healthguides therefore are simply a guideline to help understand and manage your care and facilitate a discussion between yourself and those providing care for you. You may even want to share it with your family or colleagues to see what they think about it. (They do not contain any personal information).
Choose the pathway that you would like to know more about. Presently you can view a document (PDF) of each pathway and you can print it off at home to take with you when you next go to your surgery, to the hospital or to see somebody in a community clinic or pharmacy or other. If you do not understand something then please do ask. Click here
if you cannot find a relevant pathway for yourself. There are national pathways
available too which can also provide you with useful information.
Provide us with feedback
Finally, if you have any suggestion on how you think the pathways could be improved, made more user-friendly or you have stories of how having access to this information has helped you to get even better care then please do get in touch with your doctor or nurse. We always like to hear how we can adapt to make the care services we provide even better!
Dr Hannan - March 2011