General Practitioner (GP)
Wide Way Medical Centre, Mitcham
Bio: Annie is a GP at Wide Way Medical Centre, part of the East Merton Primary Care Network (PCN) for which she is the Digital Lead. She is also a GP Educator and member of the Merton Primary Care Innovation group.
She is energetic and passionate about innovation to improve health outcomes and build staff resilience. Annie continues to strive for improvements within her own practice as well as in the wider network with transformation projects, team bonding activities, participating in educational activities, and the use of social media to bring the joy back to primary care.
Project summary: During the COVID-19 pandemic, East Merton has seen many challenges particularly around access. With the need to adopt a triage first model, this has resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand, which has impacted on staff workload and morale. Telephone/Video consultations are now the norm over face-to-face consultations. However these take much longer as clinicians are remotely dealing with more complexity. It is unsustainable for all patient requests to result in a remote GP consultation on every occasion. Therefore Annie and her team have created a digital eHub model whereby incoming requests (telephone, walk-in or from an online consultation platform) are passed through a digital triage “gate” by an Allied Health Professional. The eHub team can deal with same day or urgent demands directly or signpost the request appropriately ensuring the patient request gets to the right team at the right time. The eHub team can use a variety of digital platforms including two-way SMS to manage outcomes. As a result of a pilot of this model in a practice, they have seen the number of patient contacts almost double with the number of face-to-face consultations more than doubling. The team hopes to continue to roll out the eHub to the PCN.
Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: Aprroximately 40,000 patients.
Goal(s) for the programme: To be able to use the experience and learning from the fellowship programme to scale up the eHub model for a much larger population to help more patients get better access and more practices achieve a better work load balance.