ADHB currently has five GP Liaison Officers working 2-3/10ths each:
Dr Barnett Bond: Orthopaedics,
Dr Jim Kriechbaum: Otolaryngology, Diabetes, Renal, Cardiology, Planning and Funding
Dr Kathy McDonald: General Surgery, Colorectal, Anaesthetics,
Dr Diana Good: Gynaecology, Women's Health, Primary Care Plan Workforce diana
Dr Rob Wallace: Gastroenterology, Urology, Oncology, Neurology, Neurosurgery
All are very experienced in primary care and still work almost full time in practice.
If you have an interest in becoming a GPL and work in Primary Care currently,
please contact one of us.
If you have any helpful suggestions we would love to hear from Auckland GPs.
Please email any of the listed GPLs.
GP Liaisons work for the patient
There are many inefficiencies in the throughput and timely treatment of patients within all hospital systems because hospital doctors do not always understand the skill set, nor the capacity contained within general practice.
The GP Liaison's role is to find the swiftest and most efficient way for the patient to get an opinion and be treated. Sometimes this may mean asking the GP to seek an opinion for the patient in the private sector, sometimes advising the GP on primary care treatment, and sometimes advocating within a hospital service for the escalation of the priority of a particular patient with high acuity and need.
Clearly the solution for each patient is different, but specialists within ADHB value the contact with GP colleagues in the hospital and the ability to plan together for the best outcome for patients (given the constrained resources of the public hospital system).
Unfortunately the constrained resources and increasing demand for hospital based services has resulted in the past in ever increasing waiting lists. This old system was neither transparent nor honest as many patients were simply never seen. Many patients took years to deduce that they would not get an appointment given their level of acuity and disability.
Today, GP Liaisons work to ensure that patients and GPs know what are the chances of their patient being seen in the public hospital system, and work also to find alternatives when a patient cannot be seen here.
Sometimes investigations can be done, and certain outcomes of these tests mean that a first specialist assessment is unnecessary. This saves the patient and the hospital time and money and makes space for others to be seen.
GP Liaisons encourage GPs to use best practice guidelines, upskill in areas which are the legitimate province of general practice, and make the hospital system work for those with the greatest acuity and disability.
We also educate the hospital sector on the strengths of primary care and have valuable input into planning and funding.