NHS Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups include the South Worcestershire, Redditch and Bromsgrove, and Wyre Forest CCGs, covering 65 GP practices, and are the organisations responsible for arranging health services on behalf of Worcestershire based patients, and for monitoring how well these services are provided.
The Worcestershire CCGs were seeking to utilise advanced GP telephony to improve efficiency and the patient experience, thereby addressing NHS sustainability and transformation ambitions.
The ambition was to provide patients with easier access to healthcare, staff with the ability to work more efficiently and remotely, and doctors with a cost-effective platform to reduce DNAs and deliver new forms of consultation.
The CCGs wanted to reduce infrastructure costs by removing the need for multiple contracts with providers, and to cut the cost of calls by using VoIP.
Surgery Connect was chosen to replace the outdated and expensive phone systems used by member practices, improving patient access and experience by making it easier for patients to get through to a GP, and allowing them to manage their own appointments, reducing DNAs, which are said to cost the NHS around £1bn every year.
Practice staff see a patient’s record when they call, saving time, with calls recorded and associated with the patient record to better understand a patient's needs. Performance dashboards identify call volumes, helping practices and commissioners manage demand on the region's healthcare services.
Practices will also be able to provide extended hours access and deliver new forms of consultation, including video - all priorities for NHS England's GP Forward View.
The innovation helps achieve the region's digital plans, as described in its Local Digital Roadmap (LDR), as well as the vision for more efficient, effective integrated health and care outlined in its Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) plans.
The CCGs have used Estates and Technology Transformation Funding (ETTF) to support the rollout of the services, which is being led by the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit.
South Worcestershire CCG Says
"Joined up telephony was one of the priorities for our LDR. We saw that lots of GP practices were paying too much for their phone systems, which were often antiquated and did not have the functionality required to support new ways of working. With Surgery Connect, we saw that the system had been designed with GP input, and built to meet the needs of practices."
Business continuity is also improved: "If someone drills through the Internet connection at a practice, we can quickly switch the phone system over to mobile devices so there is no loss of service for patients or staff."
"As the technology is cloud-based, scale is not an issue. It gives us a great opportunity for more joined up working."
Primary Care IT Lead
NHS South Worcestershire CCG
For further information on Surgery Connect please call Sales on 0333 332 0000.