“The family doctor.”
I’d asked a group of blokes who’d been through treatment for prostate cancer about who had given them the news of their cancer. Each one in the group of five had received testing and results at ‘their’ GP.
We were together to talk about other parts of their cancer journey, and they all had very different treatment and rehabilitation experiences. Between surgeries and radiotherapy, and side effects, we could have been talking about completely different conditions.
But one thing was constant, and that was the strong relationship they had with their GP before, during and after prostate cancer treatment.
The other constant was the way they felt their GP was disconnected from other parts of their experience. They felt like the different parts of the system (between hospital and home) just didn’t ‘talk’ to each other.
As a non-clinician, I don’t know how much primary care connects to other parts of the health system, or even how it connects and communicates within itself.
I do know that when primary care doesn’t connect, collaborate and work together – patients see and feel that disconnection. And I have a feeling that those working in primary care see and feel it too.