Practice Assist Team
An initiative helping GP practices in Brighton, Manchester and Clapham run more efficiently and better manage patient demand has been short-listed for two prestigious national awards.
Practice Assist is an initiative run by Care UK, one of the country's leading independent providers of health and social care services. It offers surgery staff additional support at times of peak patient demand via a call centre staffed by a trained team which is familiar with the surgery’s way of working.
Practice Assist Team
Care UK is proud to announce it has been shortlisted for the 2016 HSJ Awards in the Improving Care with Technology category for their GP service, Practice Assist.
Shortlisted for the second year running, judges voted to shortlist the Practice Assist nomination entry into the next round of judging after learning about the telephone consultation service Practice Assist provides to GPs and their patients.
Recently, a large study by the University of Sussex discovered that seven day GP opening reduced accident and emergency (A&E) attendances by 10 per cent during the week and up to 18 per cent at weekends. This was a study covering 34 practices in central London.
How do we safely manage ever increasing demand of patient expectations in a stretched primary healthcare system?
The demands on the NHS and its cash-strapped resources are becoming ever greater, along with the needs of an ageing population becoming more urgent, thus stretching the NHS to breaking point.
A shortage of GPs, increasing costs and other factors are resulting in the current NHS workforce buckling under the pressure. So what is sustainable for future working?
The Royal College of GPs has identified a current shortfall of 5,000 GPs. Up to a third of them are retiring early within the next five years and some have moved abroad. General practice is facing a crisis with partnerships struggling to recruit GP partners, salaried doctors and, in many cases, even locums. Furthermore, GP training programmes are under-filled by a third in some areas of the UK.
Telephone consultations are increasingly being used as a method to manage rising demand in general practice and there has been a four-fold increase in their use over the last 20 years.
October 20, 2016
I am very happy with the service, when I call I get what I need and I get a very quick response and they are really supportive, the doctors I speak to on the phone are brilliant and helpful, so I am very happy.
It's a good service; makes sense – great idea – very convenient.
It’s a very good service. I got a call from a GP on the same day which I am very happy about, and what I really liked in particular is when I now call in the mornings, someone picks up the phone very quickly. I’m happy you’re improving the service for patients, as there’s no need to go in. Dr Khan [hub GP] was very helpful and understanding, thank you.
This new service has improved accessibility, specifically helping those who need urgent review to get this and offering reviews for many without the need to attend in person. The service offers a solution to the increasing demand on general practice.
Patients are very happy because generally their problem is resolved on a same day basis. Doctors are very happy because the intense pressure and atmosphere of constant complaints from patients has disappeared.