Background/introduction The duty doctor role was introduced into our integrated sexual health service in 2012 with the aim of improving patient flow through the clinic.
Aim(s)/objectives Three years on we wished to review the service and ensure it remains fit for purpose.
Methods We undertook an anonymous survey of clinical staff assessing if the duty doctor improved the service for patients and staff waiting for a second opinion; for staff teaching and learning and staff’s confidence in duty doctor knowledge.
Results Twenty seven members of staff completed the questionnaire. When asked to rate the utility of the duty doctor on a scale of 1 to 10 (1-no use at all, 10-indispensable) the average response was 8. The majority thought the service was better or much better for patients and staff. Only 21% thought the service should be expanded. 72% of respondents have/would bypass duty doctor. 55% would approach the duty doctor for GUM but ask elsewhere for contraception. 47% would approach for contraception but ask elsewhere for GUM. Only 25% thought a separate contraception and GUM duty doctor was needed. The service was praised for its expert 2nd opinions, quick responses and the reassurance to patients. Common problems were that the doctors were hard to contact at times and occasionally doctor’s gender was difficult for patients.
Discussion/conclusion The duty doctor is a valuable role, accessibility needs to be addressed but with the exception of increasing the pool of doctors who act as duty doctor the role should remain unchanged.
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