A small country clinic, in a rural town on the north-west coast of Tasmania is proving to provide patients with something more than just a check-up.
A visit to the Saunders Street Clinic, run by GP Jim Berryman and his wife Rebecca is far from a sterile surgical environment – with many patients feeling like they are visiting a warm stylish country home.
Fresh coffee, a roaring log fire, comfy couches and range of books are just a few features of Saunders Street Clinic that Jim and Rebecca are pleased to offer their patients and staff.
Having worked in other surgeries, Jim Berryman, believes this environment helps his patients and staff.
“I think most patients, me included, dislike seeing a doctor. To be able to sit in a waiting room like a lounge and read decent magazines, listen to music, and catch up with friends and also have a bit of a joke with the receptionists adds to de-medicalising the environment of a clinic,” explained Jim
With a vision and focus to build something more than just bricks and mortar – husband and wife team, Jim and Rebecca, designed Saunders Street from the ground up.
“The building project was our chance to design a surgery that was nice to work in and also a nice place for patients to be in, said Jim.
“The mundane stuff like set-out of rooms was mine, all the fun stuff like architecture and interior design was Rebecca’s, said Jim.
The Clinic is also a teaching practice where Jim regularly supervises GP registrars.
Jim believes its design and culture also fosters learning and a great team spirit and in setting up the clinic Jim sought out high-tech equipment with the hope to attract and retain good doctors.
‘‘We’re a teaching practice and in the room we call the School Room we use the teleconferencing set up for patients to see specialists.”
“Having quality equipment also means we can attract quality staff. Providing our doctors with facilities they need to provide quality care for our patients is a priority.”
Alongside his regular duties as a GP and GP Supervisor Jim also provides support and mentorship to other supervisors in the north-west of Tasmania as a Supervising Liaison Officer for General Practice Training Tasmania.
“Collaboration and sharing of knowledge is an asset to any doctor” said Jim.
Jim has this approach both in and out of his Clinic. Each day the Clinic will close its doors for 90 minutes over lunch time and staff will join together to share a meal around a large dining table.
This dedicated time for staff to relax and enjoy their lunch has provided numerous benefits including the opportunity to connect, share knowledge and debrief together.
‘‘Its common for doctors not to get the chance to get together informally – as we are all busy with our own caseloads – but we find this helps us with patients to be able to confer with each other in an informal way.’’