With the National Insurance Act providing manual labourers with access to GPs and compulsory health insurance introduced for those on low incomes, general practice as we know it was born - pre-dating the NHS by over 30 years.
On 5 July 1948, then health minister Aneurin Bevan formed the NHS. Founded on the principal that care should be based on need, not wealth, healthcare became universal and free. Within a month, 90% of the population had registered with a GP.
The first major report on the quality of general practice discovered poor standards and bad working conditions. Today, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) independently regulates health and social care and has become a priority for practices.Learn more here
Created to give GPs the opportunity to share good standards of practice, education and research, the College's formation provides its members with a defined space in which to support one another.Learn more here
The Family Doctors' Charter brings with it not just salary increases and better working conditions, but also payments for nursing staff and buildings.
Royal recognition changed the College's name and made it the first official GP body. Today, the Royal General College of Practitioners (RGCP) is a registered charity focussed on fostering and maintaining the highest standards in practices.
We began life when two doctors and their partner realised they could transform care by making practice's paper-based systems and records electronic. They developed 'EMIS', our first clinical IT system. The rest, as they say, is history.Learn more here
GPs now have to provide immunisations and vaccinations for children, health checks for patients within 28 days of them joining a practice and annual consultations. Altogether, it incentivises better care delivery and health promotion.
The NHS's aim of connecting more organisations sparked our programme's creation – we've continued to build our ecosystem of primary care healthcare providers ever since. Today, over 100 providers are accredited on our programme.Learn more here
Designed to improve the way healthcare is delivered and administered locally, the new trusts oversee 37,000 GPs and 21,000 dentists – and control 80% of the NHS's budget.
The first GP practice to make their prescribing electronic paves the way for more accurate care. Today, we're supporting over 94% of practices using EMIS Web to electronically prescribe so that they can make their own safety improvements.Learn more here
Created as part of the Health and Social Care Act and officially replacing primary care trusts in 2013, these clinically led bodies plan and commission healthcare services for local areas. As of April 2019, there are 191 CCGs in England.Learn more here
NHS England's strategy plans to improve both patient care and access by increasing investment in primary care and technology. It also aims to reduce workloads, better support healthcare professionals and help struggling GP practices.
April brought with it a deadline for English practices to give patients access to their medical record. Today, the ability to book appointments, view records and more is available to over seven million people registered with Patient Access.Learn more here
NHS England's GP online consultation systems fund offered £45 million in recognition of the need to diversify general practice's services. The resulting technology has empowered patients and helped clinicians to deliver high-quality care.Learn more here
Patients need to become partners in their care according to the latest strategy, which stressed empowerment and self-care. More was made of switching up appointments too, with remote and online consultations both key areas of focus.
After Day Lewis Pharmacy Group's successful pilot, we extended Patient Access' appointment-booking feature beyond GPs. Now covering community pharmacy services, the update reduces pressure on practices and makes accessing local help easier.Learn more here
A need for proactive, personalised and integrated health and social care drove primary care networks' creation. Building on current primary care services, they aim to ensure practices are able to work with other local care providers.Learn more here
EMIS-X supports the next generation of GP clinical applications. By providing access to a patient's entire health and care record and increasing its impact, our platform will help general practice to better care for changing patient needs.
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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has multiple fundamental standards that they look for today, including ensuring that practices gain the right patient consent, that they're safeguarding properly, that they're providing the right staff training and that they're offering safe and person-centred care.
All done in the aim of ensuring the best care provision, that's only a smattering of the things that practices must stay on top of too. But while maintaining compliance might seem complicated, there are things you can do to make it simpler. And the answer as to how is just as simple: technology.
"We know that ensuring your practice is meeting the right regulations and policies is still just as important as in the 50s," explains Jamie Driver, one of our product managers. "That's why our Introdoc247 solution is so important to the practices it supports. With a full audit trail and the ability to edit documents live, it doesn't just make working together easier, it makes staying compliant at all times simpler too."
For Hayley Whitehead, reception manager at Chadfield Medical Practice, Intradoc247 has had a big impact on her practice's processes. As she says, "Intradoc247 is a huge help for training. Staff can see when their training is due and I can send them reminders. It's really important to keep up to date with training."
Those words, quoted from The Practitioner, marked just how monumentally important the College of General Practitioners' formation was.
Beginning with a quote is particularly apt when we consider the fact that it was another quote that sparked the idea for the College in the first place. On 3 December 1951, John Hunt remarked to Fraser Rose that, "I had far rather start with a big idea in a small way than a small idea in a big way."
From there, the College was founded on a shared belief that general practice needed an academic body to support good standards of practice, education and research. First planned in 1951 by a small group of doctors, the College's inaugural meeting took place in February 1952.
By the same time the next year – February 1953 – 1,655 doctors had joined the institution. And with membership continuing to rise ever since, the idea of aiming big even if starting small was shown to be a truly great one.
Clinical IT systems caused a seismic shift in the way general practice operated when first introduced, something that GP Mark Purvis witnessed first-hand. Now retired, he told us of the impact technology had during the early days of his career:
"I introduced the first computer into our practice in 1989. Our practice manager sewed a dust cover to protect it while our receptionist could be seen giving it a wide berth for the first few months. Even then, I could see that once we got past the initial up-front work of getting everything set-up and coded, it was going to transform the way we worked.
And it did. That first computer revolutionised repeat prescribing for us and significantly reduced transcription errors. It also gave us a chance to take some early steps around auditing and assessing the quality of what we were already doing so that we could make more informed improvements."
While decades might have passed since their first use, clinical IT systems continue to have a major impact on care today. And with years of evolution and development having refined what they can do, they now sit at the heart of practices across the country.
EMIS Web, our clinical IT system, allows practice to not only view and update records at the point of care, but also supports them to join up working across different care settings. By allowing clinicians to share expertise and information, it's helping them to deliver better patient care.
Take a look at Alvanley Family Practice's story below to see the difference EMIS Web is making to them right now:
A pretty much sure-fire way for practices to make a whole host of improvements is by integrating their clinical solutions – and that's exactly what our partner programme is all about.
There are some impressive stats out there that prove just how useful integration can be too. In fact, we found that our integrated devices saved practices an average of five minutes and 39 seconds in every single consultation. And that time saving meant that, on average, each practice could see another 15 patients per week.
We're dedicated to developing our partner programme, and it's successes like these that show just how important it is to do so. As Gordon Lorimer, our strategic partner director details, development is intertwined in our programme's history – and is an integral part of where we want to take it next:
"We started in 2000 in order to bring specialist innovations to our customers," he explains. "Our programme has moved on significantly since then. Today, every practice that uses EMIS Web also uses an average of seven of our partners' products.
We're currently investing in new technology and processes that'll streamline interoperability and access to customer data, in accordance with all the correct legal, ethical and regulatory guidelines. As a result, we hope to significantly increase the number of accredited partners over the next 12 to 18 months."
If you want to learn even more about our partner products, take a look at our website here.
The Project Surgery is saving dozens of minutes per day by using our Anywhere Consult devices to electronically prescribe. Watch their story via the video below to see how:
Over a third of CCGs use only our solutions across their area, so we really understand just how important it is for them to the have the right technology in place to both support and work with their practices.
To ensure that these CCGs have all that they need to achieve their aims, we not only work with them, but also build a relationship with them. If you want to see the impact that this kind of collaborative working can have, then look no further than Herefordshire CCG.
St Michaels' Hospice went live with EMIS Web in March 2019 as part of Herefordshire CCG's wider One Record programme. Working closely with hospice staff, we configured EMIS Web for use across a number of different services, including hospice at home, physiotherapy, in-patient and day services, among others.
As Dr Ian Roper, GP IT lead for Herefordshire CCG explained, the first deployment was a vital step in helping the CCG to reach its goals: "We are delighted to be rolling out EMIS Web across Herefordshire and working with St Michael's Hospice to be the first to use the system. This is a positive step in improving care across the county. We are looking forward to continuing this work with our other partners in joining up healthcare".
By using Patient Access, teams across Haughton Thornley Medical Centres are giving patients the ability to keep up to date with their health record as it evolves.
But that's not the end of the story – Haughton Thornley is also one of the only practice groups in the UK to offer patients access to comprehensive services online, including test results and detailed consultation notes.
Together, the services have made a big difference to the practices' patients. As Ingrid Brindle, patient participation group chair says, "I have a feeling of control over my information, so I've been able to look after myself. I've been able to know that I'm doing the right things."
Learn more about what Haughton Thornley is achieving with Patient Access by seeing their story below:
The first GP online consultation using our technology took place back in May 2018. Skip forward to today, and we've now helped over 190 practices to offer alternative care options to their total list size of 1,537,023 patients.
That's not where the stats end though. Seventy-five practices are now live with Video Consult, whereas during the three-month period between May and August 2019, over 16,400 patients submitted forms using Online Consult.
Let's end with one more key figure, this time belonging to Stratford Village Surgery. By using our solutions to offer their patients more options, in just one month alone, they saw an impressive 50% reduction to both DNAs and calls.
View their story and see the impact this reduction has had by watching our video below:
The pathways that patients can travel down to get the help they need in their local area have been expanded with Patient Access' community pharmacy-focussed update.
The pharmacy services that patients can now book using Patient Access include in-pharmacy NHS services, such as smoking cessation support and medicine use reviews (MURs). Not only that, but patients can book paid-for private pharmacy services too, like treatment for hair loss and travel vaccinations. Altogether, it means they have much more choice around where and how they receive support and care.
For Jason Keane, Patient Access' CEO, the update is an important one. As he explains, "A key part of the NHS Long Term Plan is focussed on providing clinical services in community pharmacy settings. Patient Access pharmacy bookings support this by enabling patients to search, view and book a wide range of services in their local area. It's an exciting move that will harness the power of community pharmacy in a new way."
We know how important it is for your primary care network to be able to work collaboratively, share appointments and have access to information on medications, allergies and recent consultations. After all, it's all part of how you can join up care in your local area.
Because of this, we're dedicated to ensuring clinicians across settings have access to the information they need to make safer and more informed decisions.
As the only clinical IT system provider to work across every major healthcare setting in the UK, we're in a unique position to help your primary care network join up services with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in your local area.
Want to know more? Then click here to find out how we can help you.