Wingate Medical Centre in Liverpool is a new models of care success story. By delivering care differently, the practice is able to help 40% more patients each day.
A team of call handlers take patient calls and assign them to GPs. “Patients can schedule a call back at a convenient time and the GP will ring, triage the appointment and decide how to progress,” explains Dr Chris Mimnagh, partner at the practice.
“A third of patients have their issues resolved on the phone then and there, without needing to visit the practice. We see and treat a third of patients within a four hour target. The remaining third need something different – such as a referral into minor surgery or a blood test – and we can progress that from the telephone call, without needing a face to face appointment.”
By structuring their appointments this way, they can contact more patients.
“We can see and speak to everyone we need to in the time.” It frees time for the practice to focus on other essential practice services too: “We used to struggle with flu vaccinations, but since we moved to using telephone appointments we’ve achieved our targets.”
Positive response from patients
“A few years ago, the practice was rated as the second worst for access to primary care services in the area. Last year the CQC rated the practice as outstanding for access, and for care provided to vulnerable patients and those with long term conditions."
Proactive care for long term conditions
Delivering daily appointments in a more effective way means the practice can focus on proactive care for patients with more complex requirements. Since the beginning of 2016, they have identified 2,000 patients that are either over 60 or have two or more long term conditions, and invited them in to discuss their health issues. “The aim is to help patients take more proactive steps to improve their healthcare.”
Shared medical appointments
As part of this work they’ve identified groups of patients who have similar requirements, and have started offering group appointments. “We had one group of patients who scored highly for potential heart disease or stroke using QRISK, who had declined to take statins – identified using searches in EMIS Web. We invited them to a group education session on statins, one hour later we had eight patients who understood their condition and their choices a lot better. It’s a huge increase in productivity for us, and we introduced a group of people who can now support each other with their condition.”
Powered by EMIS Web
EMIS Web has been the software system that has made all this possible. “We absolutely couldn’t do this without EMIS Web,” said Dr Mimnagh. “We were only able to set up this way of working once we’d moved to EMIS Web. The call handling team can allocate the calls, the GPs can manage their workload, and we can interrogate the system with the reporting functionality to assess how well it’s working.”