There is this great idea. There is a sum of money available.
Everything is set up, application form printed, lots of publicity. GP surgeries informed of the scheme by email.
The scheme went live - patients and carers informed.
All they had to do was get a signature from a GP. Oh so simple!
There was lots of interest and so lots of visits to GPs.
Suddenly a problem emerged. The GPs knew nothing about the scheme.
The first they knew about it was appointments being filled to get the signature. Now we all know how hard it is to get an appointment with a GP. So any appointments being used up in this way, just for a signature was not good news.
There was another problem. Carers were turning up asking for the signature on their own. There were confidentiality issues as the patient was not there to give consent.
All in all a most unsatisfactory situation and the GPs got a bit fed up with it.
So why did it come to this?
Sadly it was the result of not doing things properly. The Primary Care Trust should have involved the GPs at an early stage in the design of this scheme. They did not!
Result: a good scheme that would benefit those hard pressed carers is delayed. There are irritated GPs, carers and the other people involved in the scheme.
All the evidence shows that when designing a new patient pathway, a new service or a new scheme of some sort you should involve everyone in the design of the scheme at an early stage in the process.
You also need to develop the implementation of the scheme at the same time as designing the scheme itself.
Typically redesign happens, then they think about talking to the patients and other stakeholders. Its too late then. Involve them early often and in a meaningful way!
So what is happening? Hopefully they will talk to the GPs, sort out the form, sort out issues of confidentiality and then maybe, carers can get the breaks they deserve.
Cock -up or conspiracy