We’ve all heard about the struggles the NHS are facing; more pressures on services, limited budgets and stretched workforces. So how can we improve patient care whilst making cutbacks left right and centre?
Professor Tim Briggs from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital recently stated in a BBC Radio 4 interview that “huge improvements can be made by sharing best practice” and “we don’t need more money we just need to change the way we practice”.
A number of hospitals and health care practices, including us, are leading the way by introducing new innovative ways of doing things which are now being implemented by others and making a huge difference.
We were extremely proud to have been chosen as one of three national case studies to be included in the same BBC Radio 4 interview mentioned above – The NHS and Productivity and the second episode The NHS: The Recruitment Dilemma.
Aired in January 2017, reporter Louise Cooper illustrated changes implemented to procurement, ring fencing beds in hospitals, introducing better IT systems for patient records and implementing change programmes to how things are generally done.
We featured alongside hospitals in Birmingham and North London to showcase our Urgent Care Team model. Introducing a multi-disciplinary team, which consists of an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Pharmacist and a Duty Doctor, we are able to bring an elite mix of skills from medical professionals for the benefit of our patients.
This has resulted in waiting times for routine GP appointments being decreased by 50%, and 95% of urgent, same-day requests being dealt with by a specialist team freeing up GP appointments.
People are now starting to take notice of the changes that are already being implemented by individual organisations and questioning whether they can be replicated across the whole of the NHS, this is something to be celebrated in time of NHS austerity.
Britain’s leading political and current affairs programme, The World at One on BBC Radio 4, are looking at this every day this week. They are looking at the NHS ‘Vanguards’, the individual organisations and partnerships that will develop new care models which will support improvements and integrations of services.
These Vanguards will act as blueprints for the NHS moving forward and be the inspiration to the rest of the health and care system.
Although not a Vanguard project, the Beacon Medical Group’s Urgent Care Team and specialist in-house Dermatology and Musculoskeletal service was chosen by the BBC as a case study that featured during the week as an example of where change is working.
The Dermatology and Musculoskeletal service has been running successfully for two years now. Being able to bring this service closer to communities has enabled us to reduce secondary care referrals by 75%. This not only improves patient care, it also helps saves time and money, and takes away pressures that hospitals are struggling with.
Dr Nav Chana, National Association of Primary Care Chair, stated: “Beacon Medical Group were selected as a Primary Care Home Rapid Test Site because they showed the enthusiasm to make change happen and we’re delighted and supportive of their work being featured.
“The example of integrated care and multi-disciplinary team working to provide specialist services closer to home helps demonstrate the move to a sustainable community-based model of care.”