Launchpad Company GPAL Launches Predictive Patient Risk Model

DigitalHealth.London Launchpad company GPAL announce the launch of their predictive patient risk model that surfaces actionable health insights on local patient populations and automates the recall process.

Does everyone find it this hard to get a GP appointment?

…is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions in the UK. If there’s one issue we all have in common, it’s that none of us can get a GP appointment. Regardless of where you live or who you are, getting time with your family doctor is becoming increasingly difficult.

In November 2023, 1.5 million appointments in England at a General Practice (GP) surgery took place four weeks or more after they were booked, only 4.8% of the 31.9m held that month.

But why is this the case? How can we fix it?

To get to the root of the issue, we have to answer some key questions:

Do we have enough GP appointments to meet patient needs?

Unfortunately, no. Last month, 9.7m people missed out on a GP appointment despite over 28 million appointments being delivered. This problem isn’t going away anytime soon – a third of GPs are expected to leave the profession in the next five years, with more than one in five likely to move abroad in the next 12 months.

Combined with a growing, ageing population, these issues place an even greater demand on our healthcare system.

I can’t even remember the last time I saw my GP, who are all these appointments even for?

Figures show that 10% of patients occupy 40% of all appointments.

Before we try to hunt these people down and disconnect their phones, let’s understand who they are.

These are patients with long-standing, chronic diseases (such as heart failure or diabetes), who are not only more susceptible to illnesses but also require regular monitoring and check-ins for their condition.

However, as GPs are stuck dealing with enormous acute demand pressures, they don’t have the time or resources to regularly monitor or check in on these patients.

As a result, patients get more unwell, becoming frequent attenders, often presenting with a list of issues in a time-restricted appointment. This means they never leave with a full resolution, coming back again and repeating the cycle.

Sounds bleak, what does the NHS have to say about all this?

GP numbers have been on the decline, with a net loss of 1,790 GPs since 2015.

While the government pledged in 2020 to hire 6,000 more new GPs by 2024 – we have barely hit 50% of these targets.

The NHS has plans to increase the number of GP trainees, intending to have 6,000 trainees by 2031 – a 50% increase on current trainee numbers.

(Yes, this does sound like trying to pour more water through a leaky pipe…)

Okay so you are saying we need to see more patients with fewer GPs? Sounds simple…

Almost. What we really need is a better model of care – proactive, preventative care for chronic patients.

With the right primary care interventions at the right time, I believe we can not only keep chronic patients well cared for in the community, but also reduce the number of appointments these frequent attenders need.

Our team at GPAL is centred around this goal – we want to understand what is the right appointment for the right patient at the right time to have the biggest impact on their health and the least impact on practice demand.

Our product surfaces actionable health insights on local patient populations and makes it simple to swiftly bring them in for the right appointment, automating the recall process.

We have built a predictive patient risk model based on the latest advances in machine learning and causal inference, to help us accurately predict who needs help and when. Our demand forecasting capabilities allow us to forecast demand patterns in GP practices, and schedule accordingly.

By starting with incentivised interventions (e.g. QOFs), we will understand how to prioritise and time these appointments to have the biggest impact on patient care and the least on practice demand. Helping GP practices better manage their chronic patients will allow us to reduce the average number of GP visits they have, reducing overall demand and waiting times.

At GPAL, we are about to start piloting our ground-breaking solution in leading GP surgeries across the UK. To help us achieve our vision, we are looking for innovative GPs and practice managers to support us in improving our product.

If you would like a sneak peek, are interested in getting involved or even if you disagree entirely with everything written here, reach out to Qasim Ali at – I’m interested to hear your thoughts!

Together, we can revitalise primary care and keep people happier and healthier in their homes!

The DigitalHealth.London Launchpad programme is funded by the UK Government via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). It is delivered by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London in partnership with the Office of Life Sciences, CW+, Medicity, NHS England, the Mayor of London and the Levelling Up Fund.

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